Gentle words of wisdom from a woman driven by "senseless, relentless hope.”

CARRY ON, WARRIOR

THOUGHTS ON LIFE UNARMED

A wife and mother's reflections on being imperfect and loving it.

When people from her church started telling blogger and momastery.com founder Melton that she and her family seemed so "perfect," she was dismayed. Rather than continue to let others believe that she led a trouble-free life, the author decided to become "a reckless truth-teller." In a memoir that is also an inspirational guide to daily living, Melton tells the story of how she learned to carry on through the inevitable trials of living "without armor and without weapons.” For two decades, she writes, "I was lost to food and booze and bad love and drugs." Her problems with alcohol and drugs led to arrests, a criminal record and difficulties getting a job. Although she was happily married, Melton's relationship with her husband had begun as a result of "confusing sex with love, and [winding] up pregnant." Then one day she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Melton credits a deep faith in God as well as strong connections with her family as being the cornerstones of her personal success. But as with everything else, learning to make those relationships work was a daily challenge. As a wife, Melton had to be willing to not only understand her husband's needs, but be honest about her own and find effective ways to communicate them. As a mother, she had to learn to forgive herself for allowing her anxieties "to pour out like gasoline on [the] raging fire" of her children's tantrums and other difficult behaviors. Only by living in a state of loving vulnerability would she be able to do what she desired most: touch others and be touched by them in return.

Gentle words of wisdom from a woman driven by "senseless, relentless hope.”

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4516-9724-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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