Against all odds, this unsparing, must-read portrait of modern dating and sex is also a love story.

NOTHING PERSONAL

MY SECRET LIFE IN THE DATING APP INFERNO

Despite the title, a very personal—and thoroughly researched—memoir of dating younger men.

In this warm, witty, and rigorously honest memoir, a "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater–type exposé on dating apps,” Sales takes us behind the scenes of her work as a journalist and filmmaker and her own experiences with Tinder. The most affecting of these involved a mostly irresistible, sometimes disappointing young man she calls Abel, 23 to her 49 when they met, with whom she remained involved for four years, while both continued swiping and hooking up with others. The author, “a single mom by choice,” managed to keep her daughter, Zazie, in the dark about her love life—thank God for summer camp—and relied on a supportive network of friends and the proprietors of her neighborhood bar and cafe to help her keep some perspective on her experiences. Ironically, the same year she met Abel, Sales went to war with Tinder by publishing in Vanity Fair what was apparently the first article to criticize the dating app. The company fought back with a smear campaign, but Sales continued working—and dating. On the memoir side, Sales writes engagingly about her parents and her coming-of-age in Florida waiting tables in their hippie diner, and she takes us through some failed relationships, her successful journalism career, and stories of dating during the pandemic. The personal narrative is illuminated by often chilling research—e.g., a 2014 Harvard Business School study that “should dispel any notion that millennial men ‘see women as equals’ ” or a 2019 survey that found “31 percent of the women…reported being sexually assaulted or raped by someone they had met through an online dating site. Sales makes it abundantly clear that it’s not pretty out there.

Against all odds, this unsparing, must-read portrait of modern dating and sex is also a love story.

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49274-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

Did you like this book?

more