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A mixed bag, much like many essay collections from pop-culture figures.

Current events and women’s issues humorously tackled by a successful and prolific black woman comedian.

In her follow-up to You Can’t Touch My Hair, 2 Dope Queens star Robinson brings back the unique brand of humor that made her debut book a bestseller. Here, the author explores common issues for women such as the yo-yo ride on the weight roller coaster, her own battle to accept her body image (“every day, I struggle not only with rewiring my brain to not equate self-worth with how my body looks, but also with not letting men and clothing companies define my own gaze”), and the idea of whether she has on “standing jeans or sitting jeans,” the former of which she needs to undo in order to eat her meal. She writes about men’s penis sizes, issues with her mother, the accumulation of debt, how meeting celebrities has affected her, and “being a trash person in a trash world”—to be fair, though, “no one on this planet can completely rid themselves of their trash ways.” All of the essays are filled with hashtags, slang, unnecessary abbreviations, and constant references to current events and pop culture, so readers not familiar with the current trends may get lost from time to time. Although unquestionably a humor book—and much of it is quite funny—the author isn’t afraid to confront serious issues, including violence against blacks, women, and Muslims; the difficulty of being a woman sports fan; and how topics such as abortion rights are constantly under attack by the white men in power in this country. Throughout, it’s clear that Robinson has a specific brand of humor that won’t resonate with everyone. Readers who enjoy her podcast and loved her first book will find even more to appreciate here; others should look elsewhere for a good laugh.

A mixed bag, much like many essay collections from pop-culture figures.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-53414-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Plume

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

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

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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