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MY LIFE IN FULL

WORK, FAMILY, AND OUR FUTURE

An autobiography of a female, immigrant CEO that is full of heart.

The Indian former CEO of PepsiCo narrates her rise to the top.

Growing up in a Hindu Brahmin household in Madras (renamed Chennai in 1996), India, Nooyi learned the importance of family, and as a self-described “tomboy,” she loved to buck tradition. Whether she was co-founding Madras’ most popular all-female rock band, living alone in Bombay while interning at the Department of Atomic Energy, or moving, unmarried, to the U.S. to pursue a degree at Yale, Nooyi’s parents always supported her. This invaluable support continued when she married her husband, Raj. After she was offered a job she couldn’t turn down, Raj agreed to move their young family from Illinois to Connecticut, a concession that most Indian men of his generation would not have made. “Raj’s selflessness,” she writes, was “all the more remarkable because he was taking on the conventions of the time in so many ways.” Although she always valued family, rising through the ranks meant making difficult choices about being a mother and a wife. Throughout the book, she reflects on these choices, sometimes with regret. Nonetheless, she is justifiably proud that her personal sacrifices led to unprecedented strides at PepsiCo, where, as CEO, she reduced water consumption and plastic usage in the manufacturing processes, spearheaded the development of healthier products, and changed many of the trucks in the company’s fleet to hybrid vehicles. As a global corporation, profit was paramount, but Nooyi was also dedicated to progressive change, particularly regarding environmental practices. “The more I thought about PepsiCo’s future,” she writes, “the more I felt it was incumbent on me to connect what was good for our business with what was good for the world.” Nooyi’s autobiography is a quick, fascinating read, laced with unusual frankness and generosity. The author is honest about her privilege and her regrets, never sugarcoating her failures or giving herself undue credit for her successes.

An autobiography of a female, immigrant CEO that is full of heart.

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-19179-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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WHAT THIS COMEDIAN SAID WILL SHOCK YOU

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

The comedian argues that the arts of moderation and common sense must be reinvigorated.

Some people are born snarky, some become snarky, and some have snarkiness thrust upon them. Judging from this book, Maher—host of HBO’s Real Time program and author of The New New Rules and When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden—is all three. As a comedian, he has a great deal of leeway to make fun of people in politics, and he often delivers hilarious swipes with a deadpan face. The author describes himself as a traditional liberal, with a disdain for Republicans (especially the MAGA variety) and a belief in free speech and personal freedom. He claims that he has stayed much the same for more than 20 years, while the left, he argues, has marched toward intolerance. He sees an addiction to extremism on both sides of the aisle, which fosters the belief that anyone who disagrees with you must be an enemy to be destroyed. However, Maher has always displayed his own streaks of extremism, and his scorched-earth takedowns eventually become problematic. The author has something nasty to say about everyone, it seems, and the sarcastic tone starts after more than 300 pages. As has been the case throughout his career, Maher is best taken in small doses. The book is worth reading for the author’s often spot-on skewering of inept politicians and celebrities, but it might be advisable to occasionally dip into it rather than read the whole thing in one sitting. Some parts of the text are hilarious, but others are merely insulting. Maher is undeniably talented, but some restraint would have produced a better book.

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781668051351

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

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Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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