An engaging story of a mother, divorcee, dancer, poet and student looking to find peace.

LYNN AND JOE

PECULIAR TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS

A woman’s memoir of her journey from bad marriages to independence and love.

This debut follows a free-spirited mother looking for freedom and a fulfilling love life in a male-dominated society. In May 1977, Lynn finds herself in her third crumbling marriage, this time to an abusive, possessive man named Paolo. Her sons from previous marriages live with their fathers due to Paolo’s strict ways and Lynn’s inability to provide a comfortable life for them. After supporting Paolo through school during their seven-year marriage, Lynn finally pursues her passion as a drama major at the University of California, Berkeley. While Lynn fights for custody of their 6-year-old daughter and struggles to reclaim her old Victorian house, she’s forced to drop out of school. Lynn’s drama studies spark her interest in females of Greek mythology and make her analyze her own life in 1960s and ’70s California. Lynn wants to live her life without a man, but it would take spiritual and emotional work. Her poetry and meditation sustain her, but her need to pay for her divorce from Paolo forces her to work as an exotic dancer at the Garden of Eden. Lynn takes Marika to visit her friend in Bodega Bay, Calif., where they experience a simpler life camping out in a van near the beach. Eventually, Lynn, in desperation, moves in with her mother and stepfather near Berkeley and gets a job at a paint store, where she meets a drummer/painter named Joe. She slowly learns that time and patience can yield a relationship with a man that isn’t built on lust or financial need. The author’s prose is lyrical and philosophical, exploring lessons she learned from Greek dramas and the feminist teachings of poets and activists in 1970s Berkeley. Her experience as a poet shines through: “Dance and song and poems began to flow into the river of suppressed tears that began first as a trickle and merged into tumbling rapids. This was not pain or joy; it was the unnamed sensation of commitment to my own inner truth.” The author continuously describes the spiritual experiences that allowed her to release her anger and frustration. Overall, the book is a resonant portrayal of one woman’s experience in the ’60s and ’70s.

An engaging story of a mother, divorcee, dancer, poet and student looking to find peace.

Pub Date: May 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-1482656923

Page Count: 538

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 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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