A stirring, inspiring account of one couple’s story of surviving cancer.

5.4%

An intimate, thoughtful look at one couple’s journey through pancreatic cancer and recovery.

In Guidara’s debut memoir, she chronicles a painful and inspiring year with her husband, Frank. Her book begins when the couple receives Frank’s diagnosis just prior to their first wedding anniversary. When Frank turned yellow and a gallstone was ruled out, it turned out he had pancreatic cancer, one of the rarest and deadliest forms of the disease. The chance of his living five years was 5.4 percent. Guidara became fiercely convinced that if Frank listened to his body and treated it with respect, it would keep him alive. Frank himself never behaved as though the cancer could beat him. Guidara, terrified of losing her husband, reached out to medical professionals and friends and family, finally incorporating a number of different therapies into his traditional regimen of surgery, radiation and chemo. As a hypnotherapist herself, Guidara was open to including several Eastern and Western strategies for cleansing and detoxifying the body. Although initially reserved about the practice of Tong Ren, which involves a complicated use of the mind-body connection and anatomical bioelectric signals, she and Frank quickly embraced these methods of acupuncture and healing. Along with praying and relying on many tenets of the raw food movement, Guidara developed a complementary regime of her own to keep Frank strong enough to fight the cancer. Although Frank’s outcome is foretold in the book’s subtitle, Guidara’s moving portrayal of the agony of coping with such a deadly cancer is riveting. She writes in chatty, rapid-fire prose of an almost daily battle to stay strong. Her desperation to find and try anything that might help him, along with her willingness to lay bare her fears and hurts—even sharing that she stockpiled sleeping pills just in case Frank didn’t make it—gives a raw account of the emotional roller coaster that started with a cancer diagnosis.

A stirring, inspiring account of one couple’s story of surviving cancer.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-1478273592

Page Count: 330

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2012

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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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Fans of Rogen will enjoy his laid-back, whimsical memoir.

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YEARBOOK

Everyone’s favorite stoner recalls his childhood, youth, and first stirrings of Hollywood success.

“My friends are thrilled when their kids don’t shit all over their floors,” writes Rogen. “As an adult, I get little to no praise for doing the same.” It’s a characteristic line; Rogen leans heavily on the seven words with which George Carlin made so much hay, with a dash of Borscht Belt shtick (“The hardest part about being Jewish is…the grandparents”) and some occasional high-concept material. The author reveals that he inherited a touch of his father’s Tourette’s mixed in with his mother’s gentleness, the blend of which resulted in a kind of easygoing ADHD best treated with lashings of marijuana. When he learned that a teenage friend had smoked pot with her brother, he asked how it felt. “It burns your throat like crazy,” she replied, to which Rogen responded, “Awesome.” Other drugs come and go in these pages—MDMA, for one, which can certainly make a pitch meeting difficult. And then there’s this: “If you’ve ever been grocery shopping while an inhuman amount of hallucinogenic mushrooms are [sic] aggressively taking over your system, you know that shit ain’t easy.” Indeed. Rogen’s not inclined to badmouth, though from time to time, his critical bone is tickled (“all the movies to come out of Project Greenlight fucking suck butt”). He also makes it clear, through encounters with the likes of Kanye West, Nicolas Cage, and George Lucas, that Los Angeles is the world headquarters of eccentricity bordering on madness. As a good Canadian, too, Rogen can’t help but get in a few digs at the rest of the country, as when he considers the reluctance of the federal government to legalize pot, “because it’s just too effective a way to persecute minorities and keep prisons full, which are things that they love to do in America.”

Fans of Rogen will enjoy his laid-back, whimsical memoir.

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984825-40-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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