A heartwarming and heartbreaking story of friendship and grief.

WHEN HARRY MET MINNIE

A TRUE STORY OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP

A poignant memoir recounts how two dog lovers bonded over their shared affection for an aging bull terrier.

In July 2016, longtime CBS News and CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Teichner was shopping at a farmers market in her Manhattan neighborhood, accompanied by her “sleek glamor-puss” rescue bull terrier Minnie, when she met an old dog-walking acquaintance with an unusual request. His friend Carol, who lived alone aside from her 11-year-old bull terrier, Harry, was dying of liver cancer and desperate to find a new home for Harry. The author, whose dog Goose had died six months earlier, leaving Minnie and her owner bereft, was intrigued and agreed to meet with Carol. Circling each other, both suspicious, they worked into a deep friendship during the little time that Carol had left, all the while acting like “two overly protective mothers trying to arrange a marriage.” With humor and deep affection, Teichner recounts the play dates, sleepovers, doggie-cam observations, trips to a church “Blessing of the Animals,” where the two animals showed “zero desire to be blessed,” and all the other lead-ups to the eventual transfer. Emails between the two women add wry wit to the tale, which is definitely a New York story, with all the rich details of life on the sidewalks and streets, among dogs and dog owners. It's also a story of relatively privileged lives, despite Carol’s illness. Readers may be shocked by the thousands of dollars the two women routinely spent on their dogs or by the fact that Teichner has had live-in au pairs for her series of dogs for the past 30 years. But that privilege doesn't preclude loss, and the most touching moments of the memoir show Teichner delicately but firmly confronting the deaths of Carol and, later, Harry.

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story of friendship and grief.

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A top-notch political memoir and serious exercise in practical politics for every reader.

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A PROMISED LAND

In the first volume of his presidential memoir, Obama recounts the hard path to the White House.

In this long, often surprisingly candid narrative, Obama depicts a callow youth spent playing basketball and “getting loaded,” his early reading of difficult authors serving as a way to impress coed classmates. (“As a strategy for picking up girls, my pseudo-intellectualism proved mostly worthless,” he admits.) Yet seriousness did come to him in time and, with it, the conviction that America could live up to its stated aspirations. His early political role as an Illinois state senator, itself an unlikely victory, was not big enough to contain Obama’s early ambition, nor was his term as U.S. Senator. Only the presidency would do, a path he painstakingly carved out, vote by vote and speech by careful speech. As he writes, “By nature I’m a deliberate speaker, which, by the standards of presidential candidates, helped keep my gaffe quotient relatively low.” The author speaks freely about the many obstacles of the race—not just the question of race and racism itself, but also the rise, with “potent disruptor” Sarah Palin, of a know-nothingism that would manifest itself in an obdurate, ideologically driven Republican legislature. Not to mention the meddlings of Donald Trump, who turns up in this volume for his idiotic “birther” campaign while simultaneously fishing for a contract to build “a beautiful ballroom” on the White House lawn. A born moderate, Obama allows that he might not have been ideological enough in the face of Mitch McConnell, whose primary concern was then “clawing [his] way back to power.” Indeed, one of the most compelling aspects of the book, as smoothly written as his previous books, is Obama’s cleareyed scene-setting for how the political landscape would become so fractured—surely a topic he’ll expand on in the next volume.

A top-notch political memoir and serious exercise in practical politics for every reader.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6316-9

Page Count: 768

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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