HODA by Hoda Kotb


How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee
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The autobiography of 46-year-old TV reporter and anchor Kotb. She’s the one with the odd name perched next to Kathie Lee Gifford.

The author hails from the Oklahoma heartland, where her Egyptian parents arrived not long after their wedding. After traveling the world with her family, the author did the same in her nascent career as a journalist, though she first reported the news in local TV markets. She enjoyed her New Orleans gig and is inspired still by the spirit of the Big Easy. Then came Dateline NBC in 1998, where she relished assignments overseas—though she admits she was apprehensive amid gunfire, while seasoned colleague Jim Maceda was simply irritated by the racket. Since 2007, she has been the regular convivial sidekick on the fourth hour of The Today Show. Kotb’s narrative of recent years gains strength as she looks at her diagnosis of breast cancer, her husband’s infidelity and the divorce proceedings. Throughout the book, the author is relentlessly upbeat, and she relates her story with simple declarative sentences that occasionally enter cringe-worthy territory. Hair is a major problem, Mom’s baklava is the best and “Stone Phillips is—so—incredibly—hot. He just is.” Kotb is fond of Beyoncé, as well as “Matt, Al, Meredith, Ann, Natalie, the producers, and the crew.” Ready to date again, she notes that she loves her family and music, but dislikes neatness and haute couture.

Unremarkable showbiz fare—frothy, easy optimism from a TV performer.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4391-8948-1
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010


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