For cat lovers, a pleasant and moving story of love and identity among mothers, daughters and felines. Non–cat lovers need...

CATS & DAUGHTERS

THEY DON'T ALWAYS COME WHEN CALLED

An intimate memoir about one woman and her relationships with her cat and her family.

How do you deal with planning a wedding, being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a daughter who wants to become a Buddhist nun all at the same time? You get a high-strung, high-maintenance new kitten. Or at least this is how best-selling author Brown (Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family, 2010) coped with the stresses of her life. Amusing passages swirl among details of Brown confronting her illness: "Getting three surgeons to show up in the same operating room at the same time was like arranging for Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, and Queen Elizabeth II to attend the same charity event." Meanwhile, her daughter needed time and space to find her own identity in a Sri Lankan monastery. The author writes eloquently about the bonds that exist between women of all ages, as she crisscrosses the path between caretaker and needy patient. Woven in between are the antics of Jonah, the new kitten whose existence in the house was questioned from day one: "Jonah hesitated for a moment, as if considering the invitation,” she writes. “But he narrowed his eyes and took flight like a trapeze artist, launching himself through the air to land on top of the kitchen dresser….What I hadn’t counted on was a berserk kitten hurling himself on top of the upper cabinet. The glasses trembled ominously as he struggled to find his balance.” The author amiably recounts the ups and downs of owning a cat and integrating the animal into her life.

For cat lovers, a pleasant and moving story of love and identity among mothers, daughters and felines. Non–cat lovers need not apply.

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8065-3606-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Citadel/Kensington

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 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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