LIFE

IT IS WHAT IT IS

In this collection of previously published opinion columns, Sugarman shares her gently humorous, inspirational musings about life. 

“I’ve got an incredibly long stream of consciousness with endless opinions on everything from life and parenting to relationships and health and everything in between,” says Sugarman in this compendium of her “It Is What It Is” columns, originally published in the Marblehead Reporter, a Massachusetts regional newspaper. In short essays averaging about 1,000 words each, she explores general-interest topics with a wry but mostly upbeat tone, often emphasizing the importance of adopting a positive, compassionate view of life. “Walk a While in Someone Else’s Cast” is typical of her approach: She grouses about the inconvenience of being in a boot cast for several weeks and makes a joke about her husband, Dave, serving as her “cabana boy,” and finally urges readers to appreciate their own mobility and what they have in life. Sugarman addresses seasonal and holiday themes several times, extolling the virtues of spring cleaning and encouraging folks to stick to New Year’s resolutions, for example. Some darkness peeks through, on occasion; “Where have all the Good People Gone?” expresses her anger and sadness that no one stopped to help her teenage daughter’s friend, who suffered an injury while running. “An Ode to Mister Rogers,” however, is a more representative piece; in it, she expresses her affinity with genial TV icon Fred Rogers and shows the value of regular routines and being nice. None of the author’s riffs are unique or earth-shattering, as many bloggers currently cover similar turf, and her attempt to make her hometown of Marblehead, Mass., a “character” in this collection isn’t fully successful. That said, Sugarman is a professional, accomplished writer, and her easy-to-read essays should prove smoothly satisfying to general readers. Appealing, embracing essays about everyday life.

 

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-1494798130

Page Count: 204

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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