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WHAT GIRLS NEED

HOW TO RAISE BOLD, COURAGEOUS, AND RESILIENT WOMEN

Practical, persuasive advice for raising confident, dynamic girls prepared to tackle any challenge.

How to raise girls so they have the best chance of achieving their “own success.”

Porges has experienced unquestionable success in her life: She flew missions for the Navy as a senior officer and “navigate[d] the politics of the White House and the drama of the Pentagon [to shape] U.S. counterterrorism and cybersecurity efforts under two presidents,” and she is now the head of an all-girls school outside of Philadelphia. In each of her many roles, she has encountered the discrimination so many women face when they interact with their male counterparts in the workplace and elsewhere. Here, the author gathers her hard-won tactics to help parents educate their girls about these depressingly timeless problems. “Every girl,” she writes, “should learn skills early on that empower her to be her best self…so that [they] grow into women able to apply grit, confidence, and bravery in real-world situations and effectively advocate for themselves wherever they may find themselves.” Combining case studies with her own experiences, Porges identifies core character traits that should be nurtured so that girls develop crucial skills for the modern, global world. Girls must stand up for themselves and ask for what they need and want; they must realize that competition can be a healthy endeavor and to not belittle their own skills for fear of upsetting others; they should be encouraged to use and expand their natural collaborative problem-solving abilities and be aware of the value of empathy, a good and oftentimes overlooked trait; they must be able to adapt to a wide variety of rapidly changing circumstances. Although the book contains few groundbreaking insights, the author’s credentials are impressive, and she presents her arguments and tactics to teaching them in a conversational tone that allows readers fresh insights into deep-rooted issues that have plagued women for years.

Practical, persuasive advice for raising confident, dynamic girls prepared to tackle any challenge.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984879-14-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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WHAT THIS COMEDIAN SAID WILL SHOCK YOU

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

The comedian argues that the arts of moderation and common sense must be reinvigorated.

Some people are born snarky, some become snarky, and some have snarkiness thrust upon them. Judging from this book, Maher—host of HBO’s Real Time program and author of The New New Rules and When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden—is all three. As a comedian, he has a great deal of leeway to make fun of people in politics, and he often delivers hilarious swipes with a deadpan face. The author describes himself as a traditional liberal, with a disdain for Republicans (especially the MAGA variety) and a belief in free speech and personal freedom. He claims that he has stayed much the same for more than 20 years, while the left, he argues, has marched toward intolerance. He sees an addiction to extremism on both sides of the aisle, which fosters the belief that anyone who disagrees with you must be an enemy to be destroyed. However, Maher has always displayed his own streaks of extremism, and his scorched-earth takedowns eventually become problematic. The author has something nasty to say about everyone, it seems, and the sarcastic tone starts after more than 300 pages. As has been the case throughout his career, Maher is best taken in small doses. The book is worth reading for the author’s often spot-on skewering of inept politicians and celebrities, but it might be advisable to occasionally dip into it rather than read the whole thing in one sitting. Some parts of the text are hilarious, but others are merely insulting. Maher is undeniably talented, but some restraint would have produced a better book.

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781668051351

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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