A NICE TUESDAY

A MEMOIR

Baseball serves as a secondary backdrop for this entertaining autobiographical account of a middle-aged man’s pursuit of unfulfilled dreams. In the late 1950s, Jordan was a highly touted up-and-coming pitching phenom, but he managed only a few years of unsuccessful minor-league play. After leaving the sport in 1962, Jordan eventually became a freelance writer of articles and books (A False Spring, 1975, etc.), but despite his successes, he was still haunted by thoughts of what-could-have-been. Finally, at the age of 56, he returned to pitch one inning in a professional minor-league game for the Waterbury Spirit in Connecticut. While Jordan records vividly the chronology of this event and his physical and mental preparation for the challenge, the book is filled more with revelations of the author’s past and with present-day anecdotes, as he tries to make sense of his life’s time-worn journey. Some familiar sports names appear in the book, but it’s the excellently drawn cast of colorful players in Jordan’s life that dominate, including: Susan, his sensual and supportive wife; his older half-brother, George, a lawyer, whose unconditional love is mixed with wistful envy; and Brian LaBasco, the high school catcher who helps Jordan train and who reminds him of “the me I might have been.” Even Jordan’s pet dogs figure prominently: they teach him to love, genuinely and unabashedly. Jordan is a flawed and not particularly noble hero; in fact, his selfishness, weaknesses, and fears are revealed throughout. But this frankness is what gives overall credence to his story and ruminations, helped greatly by his skillful writing, which shifts easily from bawdy bravado to humor to insightful introspection. More a midlife coming-of-age memoir than sports book, a tale of growing older, of second chances, and of making peace with oneself.

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-58238-028-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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