A gauzy, PG-13 love letter from NKOTB to the throngs of faithful women responsible for making their rock-star dreams come...

READ REVIEW

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

FIVE BROTHER AND A MILLION SISTERS

The story of how five boys from Boston rose from nothing to become unlikely international recording stars in the late 1980s—and the more interesting story of the legion of devoted “Blockheads” that has sustained them ever since.

None of the largely nondescript personalities (save perhaps the gregarious Donnie Wahlberg) that comprise the New Kids on the Block is revealed to any significant degree in Van Noy’s (So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band—20 Years on the Road, 2011) otherwise readable band biography. But that clearly is not the point. Instead, the author is more concerned with illustrating the truly fascinating (bewildering?) bond that has seemingly been magically forged between NKOTB and their female fans—aka “Blockheads.” The author quotes random fans extensively, and she dutifully chronicles the group’s humble beginnings on the streets of Boston to their jet-setting zenith conquering the pop world. Despite the general banality of  Jordan, Jon, Joe, Donnie and Danny, there is true profundity in the stories of accomplished adult women who, during their formative years, fell in love with five flickering images on TV screens and never let go. Van Noy maintains the gossamer veneer throughout, collecting the band’s dirty laundry and tidily stowing it far out of sight. The author quickly skates over many of the intragroup conflicts – including hot-button issues like NKOTB’s decision to part ways with original producer Maurice Starr, Joey McIntyre’s gripes about his perennial outsider status and Jon Knight’s surprising sexuality. Even though the NKOTB/Blockhead romance burned as hot as a neutron star inside teenage girls’ hearts, you’d never know it by the way Van Noy manages to keep everything so chaste.

A gauzy, PG-13 love letter from NKOTB to the throngs of faithful women responsible for making their rock-star dreams come true.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4516-6785-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

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?

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

Did you like this book?

more