Though sometimes too slow and a touch, well, normal, Clinton’s memoir proves a treat for the many who love his work.

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BROTHAS BE, YO LIKE GEORGE, AIN'T THAT FUNKIN' KINDA HARD ON YOU?

A MEMOIR

Uncle Jam’s funkadactic crusade continues in a book that, though less rollicking than a fan might expect, still kicks it.

“When I’m asked about something serious, I try to make jokes because deep down, I know that I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.” Thus says Clinton, the mastermind behind Parliament/Funkadelic, aka P-Funk, and the author of such classics as “Maggot Brain” and “The Electric Spanking of War Babies.” It’s not exactly Socrates’ “I know only that I know nothing,” but Clinton is a born, if rough-speaking, philosopher, as when he allows that, though he’s not so inclined, he never minded playing with gay musicians: “I don’t give a fuck who he’s fucking. Can he drum?” Clinton, with a helpful hand from pop ghost Greenman (co-author of Questlove’s Mo’ Meta Blues, 2013), recounts coming up on gritty East Coast streets, where, in between working as a barber, he engaged in various felonious acts while seeking fame on the Motown funway. That changed with his “introduction to three important letters: L-S-D,” along with the recruitment of players such as Eddie Hazel and later William “Bootsy” Collins, who took R&B, mixed it with rock, turned it into funk, and then took the whole enterprise into outer space. (Clinton opens with an anecdote in which Mylar space suits figure prominently.) Sadly—but fittingly, as it turns out—Clinton’s tale begins to limp halfway in, as acid-funk glory slowly begins to erode in the face of one lawsuit after another. He closes in the glow of a comfortable semiretirement tinged with a hint of sadness: “Kids today don’t know the difference between me and Snoop Dogg, or me and Stevie Wonder. Everybody who’s old is old.”

Though sometimes too slow and a touch, well, normal, Clinton’s memoir proves a treat for the many who love his work.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1476751078

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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