A convincing, passionate account that both educates and infuriates.




The author’s account of his December 2005 voyage with a radical captain and crew who risk their lives to halt the Japanese whale hunt off Antarctica.

Greenpeace may garner most of the headlines in the battle to save the whales, but the real commandos in this ongoing war sail for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose passionate volunteers aren’t content with passive resistance. In this stirring account, Heller (Hell or High Water, 2004, etc.) describes his two-month journey aboard the Sea Shepherd’s 180-foot converted trawler, Farley Mowat, and its running battle against a fleet of Japanese whalers. Capt. Paul Watson and his mostly vegan 43-member crew aren’t the shy retiring types. They fly the Jolly Roger from the ship’s mast, brew their own moonshine to celebrate New Year’s Eve in an Antarctic blizzard and exclude no strategy in their quest to save whales from slaughter by the persistent Japanese. Measures include everything from trying to entangle the whale ship’s propellers with steel cables to tossing foul stink bombs onboard to sicken their crews. The Farley Mowat also comes equipped with a steel-reinforced bow, used for ramming the much larger Japanese whalers head-on. Watson, one of the founders of Greenpeace, tired of watching endangered whales die while the organization merely unfurled protest banners. Considered a “lunatic” and an “eco-terrorist” by his enemies (and possibly by some who’ll read this book), placed on the “piracy watch list” by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, his full-frontal assaults against both whaling and seal hunting have made him revered by his supporters and crew. Watson justifies his radical measures by pointing out that although commercial whaling has been officially banned by the UN Charter, the Japanese continue to ruthlessly kill hundreds of whales each year under the guise of “scientific research.” In fact, Heller argues, the whales are merely slaughtered for Japan’s fish markets, a crime made even more senseless by the fact that polls indicate the Japanese consumer doesn’t even like whale meat. In fact, the Japanese whaling industry loses money every year. Still, the Japanese whalers persist, refusing to back down in the face of mounting international pressure.

A convincing, passionate account that both educates and infuriates.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4165-3246-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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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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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

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.


The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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