Sharapova demonstrates consistent dedication and impressive wisdom for her age.

UNSTOPPABLE

MY LIFE SO FAR

Professional tennis celebrity Sharapova relates her remarkable immigration saga and writes candidly about her career, family, and personal life.

The author’s father, Yuri, became interested in tennis by chance as an adult. When young Maria started tagging along with him to watch matches, Yuri recognized her natural ability and decided he would devote his life to developing her into the world’s top female tennis player. Yuri persuaded his wife to surrender seeing Maria for at least a couple of years, and he and 7-year-old Maria spent the family savings on airplane tickets to Florida, where top youth tennis camps, especially the IMG Academy, trained future stars. Yuri and Maria spoke no English, did not contact any of the academies in advance, and had no idea how to find a residence, but through a series of fortunate, unlikely occurrences, Maria gained entry into IMG. With fierce determination, she drilled every day with her father and coaches, and eventually her mother was able to obtain a rare visa to enter the U.S., reuniting the family. After a major growth spurt, the young Sharapova quickly ascended the youth ranks. At age 17, she defeated the top seed, Serena Williams, to win Wimbledon, becoming the third-youngest woman to win the prestigious tournament. Williams appears often throughout the remainder of the book, as she becomes Sharapova’s chief rival and the most dominant force in the women’s game. For tennis players and fans, the memoir is filled with solid insights about on-the-court strategy and off-the-court psychology. “I can get fancy and sweet about it,” she writes, “but at bottom my motivation is simple: I want to beat everyone….Ribbons and trophies get old, but losing lasts.” For readers with no interest in tennis, the author delivers an impressive immigration tale, an inspiring coming-of-age narrative, and a host of useful advice on navigating celebrity culture.

Sharapova demonstrates consistent dedication and impressive wisdom for her age.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-27979-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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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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