Resilient and fiercely observant, Posey is an unflinchingly honest and entertaining interpreter of her many stories.

YOU'RE ON AN AIRPLANE

A SELF-MYTHOLOGIZING MEMOIR

The “Queen of Indie Film” writes hilariously and thoughtfully about her life and the lives of Gracie, her dog, and other intriguing misfits she’s known.

Using the conceit that she’s relating stories about her life while sitting next to you on a flight—a possibility she laments is increasingly untenable since no one in America talks to strangers anymore—Posey is an amiable, zigzag raconteur. Probably best known for her inspired roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, she now stars on Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot. The author was a determined daydreamer and performer from an early age; her father had to fasten jingle bells to her notepad in elementary school so she would remember to write down her homework assignments. Her tendency to choose meaningful projects such as Dazed and Confused or Personal Velocity rather than schlocky studio flicks hasn’t helped her finances, but her choices have endeared her to a generation of film buffs who were young enough in the 1990s and early 2000s to understand that independent American cinema at that time was a movement. (In one priceless scene, the author recounts her nauseous reaction to a misogynistic script a casting director gave her: “I...walked outside, where I immediately threw up in one of the enormous potted plants. And then three times more. It was the perfect height, and I paused and felt blessed.”) “I’m not great at being a movie star,” she writes. “It’s either too boring or too much work.” This book is one of the most atypical celebrity memoirs in recent memory. The narrative flow is occasionally whiplash-inducing as Posey marches through her life, but she is an irrepressible and appealingly eccentric guide throughout.

Resilient and fiercely observant, Posey is an unflinchingly honest and entertaining interpreter of her many stories.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-1819-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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

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