A readable, inspiring memoir about staying true to dreams and principles in a world that too often forces personal...

SOLO

A MEMOIR OF HOPE

The unflinching account of U.S. women's soccer team member Solo's life on and off the field.

Born in Richland, Wash., a plutonium-producing town "created in the dark shadows of the American dream," Solo came from a family that "[didn't] do happy endings.” Her father was a philandering con man who married her mother while still serving a prison sentence for embezzlement. When Solo was 7, he kidnapped her and her brother Marcus from their mother; after he was arrested, she did not see him again for many years. But the damage had already been done. Her home life was fraught with tension that manifested as fights between Solo and her brother and alcoholism in her mother. She found refuge in sports and excelled as a soccer player. By the time she was a high school junior, she had caught the eye of college coaches across the country. Solo chose the University of Washington, where she lived a double life as a respected college athlete and a national soccer team member while gradually rebuilding a relationship with her now-homeless father. Dreaming of World Cup glory, Solo then played for professional teams in the U.S., Sweden and France while continuing to train with the American national team. Never one to hold back, she speaks with great honesty about the difficulty of living in the shadow of the 1999 World Cup championship team. She also reflects thoughtfully on her infamous benching at the 2007 World Cup competition and how the misunderstanding it caused nearly ruined her reputation and professional standing. Through heartache, setbacks and career-threatening injuries, Solo demonstrates not only a fierce determination to overcome, but also the grace of a true champion.

A readable, inspiring memoir about staying true to dreams and principles in a world that too often forces personal compromise.

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-213674-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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