A humorous, thoughtful account with many memorable vignettes, though not every chapter hits home.



In this humorous debut memoir, the author looks back at her life, including stints as a rodeo rider, a photographer, Hollywood actor and more.

In her author’s note, Stobie explains that “many of these essays appeared originally as newspaper columns, and others I wrote recently about my early life”; she calls the book her “patchwork memoir.” Divided into six sections, the book follows Stobie’s life from her first riding lesson at age 3 to the present day. In between, she participated in junior rodeos, worked as a professional photographer and actor (she met Warren Beatty at the height of his Shampoo fame), married and had children. In tone, Stobie’s down-to-earth humor is something like a cross between Will Rogers and Lenore Skenazy, and her love of risk-taking makes for some great scenes. When just a teenage novice riding a bucking steer, “a huge Scottish Highlander with a shaggy red coat,” she said to the beast, “Hootman, you think you can make light work of this rookie. But I’m Scottish, too, so this ride will be one Scot on top of another.” (She earned a second-place buckle.) Her writing is thoughtful as well, with some nicely observed moments: As she begins a hike, “the sky is empty of clouds and quiet as a coiled snake.” The early sections discussing Stobie’s riding days and her brushes with Hollywood fame make for especially fun reading. Less so are the essays exploring such commonplaces as the tedium of science fairs and soccer practice or how men and women see things differently. The chapters on aging, second marriages and clearing out a parent’s home offer fresher insights. Looking back at her daredevil past, Stobie wonders “[i]f aging changes our judgment, as I think it may be doing with mine, how do I gauge what is safe to do? If I don’t risk at all, my world will shut down.” She doesn’t seem in much danger of that any time soon.

A humorous, thoughtful account with many memorable vignettes, though not every chapter hits home.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692301135

Page Count: 204

Publisher: Liberator Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2014

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



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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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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