A candid memoir that sends an urgent message.

MY TIME TO SPEAK

RECLAIMING ANCESTRY AND CONFRONTING RACE

A prominent news anchor recounts her life.

Univision anchor Calderón offers a moving and timely memoir reflecting on her experiences as a woman of color: “There’s no doubt. I…am black. Colombian, Latina, Hispanic, Afro-Colombian, mixed, and anything else people may want to call me or I choose to call myself, but I’m always black. I may bear Castilian Jewish and Syrian Arab last names, but I’m simply black in the eyes of the world.” Growing up in Istmina, Colombia, she was taught tolerance. “Understanding, equality, fairness, solidarity, generosity,” she writes, “those were the messages that were repeated” at her family’s table. But when she attended a Catholic high school in Medellín, Colombia’s second-largest city, Calderón, the only black or mixed-race student, became increasingly aware of inequality, poverty, and racial injustice. In Medellín for college, she decided to major in social work, hoping to effect change in her own country. When a chance opportunity landed her a job at a local news station, however, her focus changed to journalism. “I’d found a profession in which inquiry was applauded instead of punished,” she writes, “and my boldness wasn’t an obstacle but expected and approved.” Calderón recounts her professional rise as co-anchor in Bogotá, as newscaster at Telemundo in Miami, and finally as anchor for Univision. “It’s good,” she admits, “nobody ever told me I was going to be the first Afro-descendant to anchor national newscasts in Spanish media wherever I went!” Her positions have afforded her visibility and power, and much of her memoir bears witness to oppression and discrimination. “What kind of country are we leaving the new generations?” she asks. “Or rather, what kind of society are we handing over to them? One where fundamental rights are violated and no one says anything?” For her—and, she hopes, her readers—there is no choice but to speak out.

A candid memoir that sends an urgent message.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982103-85-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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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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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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