More inspiration than documentation but definitively global in scope, a happy contrast to so many Eurocentric “world”...



An international array of badass women through the ages and up to the present.

Though Schatz reaches back to Enheduanna, the first named author in history, and Pharaoh Hatshepsut, most of the nearly 300 women she names have shown their courage and convictions within the past century or so. Most are just names (with country of origin), but she selects around 60 for admiring profiles. Some are such familiar figures as Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai, but many more are likely to be new to most, and not just younger, readers, such as Colombian street artist Bastardilla, British punk trailblazer Poly Styrene, and Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira, a leader in the modern revival of Maori language and culture. The author also pays tribute to groups, such as the first 14 Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, the six women charged with inventing ENIAC’s initial programming, and, poetically, the millions of stateless refugees. Arranged in a rough geographical order, the profiles open with tagline quotes, plus black-and-white-paper portraits based on photos or historical images, and run to one or two double-columned pages in length. Though an afterword lays claim to much research and personal contact, there are no specific sources cited. Still, it’s clear enough that these women lead or led “awesome, exciting, revolutionary, historic, and world-changing lives.”

More inspiration than documentation but definitively global in scope, a happy contrast to so many Eurocentric “world” surveys. (Collective biography. 11-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-57886-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore...


A quirky inside portrait of brotherhood within the “insane Hollywood system.”

Marx, Coen, Farrelly. Add to that list the Duplass brothers, who have been carving out a place for themselves as writers, directors, producers, and actors (Mark in The League, Jay in Transparent, etc.). In her foreword to this jumpy, eclectic collection of odds and ends, Mindy Kaling writes that the brothers are funny, “woke as hell,” and have a “tireless entrepreneurial spirit that inspires.” The brothers write that the book is “filled with essays on all kinds of things,” which isn’t exactly true. There are some—e.g., a short piece on why the band Air Supply is so good or the value of The Karate Kid Part II (even though “there are so many things wrong with this movie”)—but mostly this is a hodgepodge of autobiographical sketches, lists of favorite movies (actually the same list slightly edited over and over), emails, rough screenplays, advice to young filmmakers, Mark’s short story “The Blowjob,” edited by Jay, comments from their wives, and “Airport” 1-5, in which the brothers make up filmic scenarios inspired by the people they see walking and sitting about. We learn that they grew up outside New Orleans and had great boyhoods. Creative and ambitious kids, they played around with a video recorder their father gave them and started writing little scenarios and filming them. In 1996, they started Duplass Brothers Productions and got to work. We follow them in action as they fail (Vince del Rio) and succeed (Cyrus). They made The Puffy Chair for $10,000 and premiered it at the Sundance Film Festival. Other successes followed, including HBO’s Togetherness series (2015), until cancelled, and Room 104 (2017).

A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore fans will enjoy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-96771-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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The fantasy world we build around professional athletes took a serious hit when this NBA superstar announced his HIV infection and retirement. Here, a simply phrased account of Johnson's record-breaking basketball career is sandwiched between an analysis of the announcement's immediate effects and a look at his other career as a successful businessman. This is timely but superficial: the ``If I can get it, anyone can'' message is delivered, but readers will not learn much more about AIDS or the AIDS crisis, nor are they directed to other books or organizations that might help. Marginally useful for assignments; better efforts are probably in the pipeline. B&w photos. (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 5, 1992

ISBN: 0-8225-0546-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1992

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