An entertaining and informative investigation into growing old.

COUNTERCLOCKWISE

MY YEAR OF HYPNOSIS, HORMONES, DARK CHOCOLATE, AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF ANTI-AGING

One woman's quest to halt the aging process.

In today's society, old age is equated with being "weak, sickly, sexless, boring, crabby," writes Kessler (Graduate Program, Multimedia Narrative Journalism/Univ. of Oregon; My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence, 2010, etc.). To be young, by contrast, is to be "healthy, vibrant, sexy, creative, adventurous." Wanting to forestall the effects of aging for as long as possible, the author used herself as a guinea pig to explore the myriad ways this can be done…to a certain extent. What she uncovered was possibly more than she bargained for, as she navigated plastic surgery, hormone replacement therapy, fad and extremely low-calorie diets, colonics and cleansings. By studying her own aging process at the cellular level, Kessler gained a better understanding of how she was moving through life. Her extensive research on the thousands of approaches being used to slow a natural process reveal that staying physically fit through aerobic and weight-bearing exercises, eating healthy foods and getting sufficient sleep top the list of effective anti-aging methods. Kessler uses humor to help readers digest the information and develop their own strategies to combat the inevitable physical decline of advancing age while maintaining a high quality of life. Growing older is part of the process of life, she reminds us; the goal is not looking younger, but feeling younger—to have, as she writes, "an abundance of energy—physical, intellectual, and creative…continuing to feel in the thick of things." In her view, it's all about "choosing to do something with this prolonged health span, about making use of a fit body and an agile mind."

An entertaining and informative investigation into growing old.

Pub Date: June 4, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60961-347-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Rodale

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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

NIGHT

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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