A compact, delightful feast for the senses.



A lifetime outdoorsman shares his wild and wooly travels hunting throughout Europe and North America.

An avid big-game hunter, de la Valdène (Red Stag, 2003, etc.) lyrically recounts a rugged lifetime fortified by the land, offering brief but resonant and beautifully written memories of his time in the fields. He elaborates on hunting protocol and describes his encounters with coveys of partridges (a favorite), various migratory birds, rabbits and coyotes, relating everything with a generously encyclopedic knowledge base. The author writes enthusiastically of his boyhood in a village in Normandy where, at an early age, he begged his father for a shotgun. Instead, he received a BB gun and went about recklessly targeting women’s behinds and his mother’s precious stemware. Several years and many reprimands later, the boy was graced with the shotguns that would ignite his love of animal pursuit. Though he bestowed honest blessings on his son’s hunting adventures, de la Valdène’s father “declined to be a party to their execution,” yet enjoyed dining on fresh game during hunting season. A summer spent in Scotland shooting pigeons and grouse gave way to experiences with the poaching trade back in Normandy and dog-running in Montana. Currently living on 800 acres of farmland in northern Florida, de la Valdène remains conflicted about his hunting hobby but enjoys his seclusion from “a world whose only contribution is to have left behind its own compost.” He writes fondly of developing a newfound respect for the natural peacefulness and wildlife surrounding him. Savory recipes close out the author’s light, lovingly crafted fare.

A compact, delightful feast for the senses.

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7627-6414-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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


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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