A unique perspective that offers immense hope and direction for humanity in the face of climate change.

GUARDIANS OF THE TREES

A JOURNEY OF HOPE THROUGH HEALING THE PLANET

The inspiring story of the creation of an award-winning model for reversing rainforest loss and improving human well-being.

In 1993, as an undergraduate biology major, Webb traveled to Indonesia to study the dispersal of seeds by orangutans in the mountains of Gunung Palung National Park. She immediately fell in love with the land, the animals, and the people. After hearing her “least favorite sound: the whine of a chain saw in the far distance,” she learned that logging was one of the few ways the locals could make money to pay for health care. Watching the forests of Borneo disappearing, she “felt like my heart was being ripped out.” With the conviction that public health and the planet’s health are intrinsically intertwined, Webb returned to Indonesia after medical school and co-founded Alam Sehat Lestari (“healthy nature everlasting”). The organization initiated a reforestation program and a clinic to provide affordable health care to the community. Webb also founded Health in Harmony, an international nonprofit dedicated to fighting climate change by preventing the destruction of rainforests. In a compelling narrative, the author shares the details of her journey and the cultural nuances of the region. At the heart of her mission is the concept of “radical listening.” By actively engaging the community while building her program, she was able to create real and sustainable results. Webb dedicated herself wholeheartedly to her organizations, working long hours and making numerous sacrifices. She candidly shares the personal and physical struggles she endured, including a box jellyfish sting that nearly killed her. Having already created the framework for her program, Webb decided to expand her work beyond Borneo. “The human species may be deeply flawed,” she writes, “but we also have the capacity for beauty, transcendence, and unexpectedly rapid change.” Webb’s vision is notable for its focus on truly listening to community members, not just leaders.

A unique perspective that offers immense hope and direction for humanity in the face of climate change.

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-75138-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

TANQUERAY

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2022

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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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