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An unflinching account of “the good, the bad, and the bald, ugly truth” about cancer.

The former Good Morning America host takes readers backstage in this unvarnished account of her bout with breast cancer.

A longtime advocate for women's health, Lunden (Wake Up Calls: Making the Most Out of Every Day, 2000, etc.) lives her life in the public eye. When she was diagnosed with two cancerous tumors in June 2014, she announced the news on national TV. The author describes the challenge of putting on a brave public face while undergoing rigorous treatment. Her stress peaked in September, when she was asked to appear on the cover of People without a wig to cover her chemotherapy-induced baldness. The decision to go ahead with the photo shoot was difficult, but she ultimately agreed. Her youthful appearance belied her age of 64, and her appearance was an important part of her celebrity status. “I am all about ‘sixty is the new forty,’ ” she writes, sharing her unwillingness to be called Grandma even though she adored the role. After her diagnosis with a rare type of aggressive breast cancer, the specialists she consulted were initially at odds about the best treatment protocol: whether to operate first or start with an initial round of chemotherapy before operating. The stakes were high. If the chemo treatment was successful, then the surgery would be less invasive; if it wasn’t, postponing surgery increased the risk. Lunden opted for chemotherapy, then surgery, followed by more chemotherapy and radiation. A strict diet and exercise regimen were also part of the package. The author describes her elation when the doctors determined that her tumors had shrunk dramatically after the first round of chemo. The side effects from chemotherapy were rough, but with the support of family, friends, and fans, Lunden was able to maintain her active lifestyle. Though not without its overwritten sections, the book is inspiring and informative.

An unflinching account of “the good, the bad, and the bald, ugly truth” about cancer.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-240408-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

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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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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