A swashbuckling book that is likely to elicit extreme reactions of applause or disapproval depending on the reader’s...

READ REVIEW

STREET WARRIOR

THE TRUE STORY OF THE NYPD'S MOST DECORATED DETECTIVE AND THE ERA THAT CREATED HIM

A retired New York Police Department detective relates the saga of his adolescence in New York City, his chance decision to join the force, his storied career (1970-1984), and the serious injury that forced his retirement.

Written with former NYPD officer and Army machine-gunner Picciarelli (co-author: Undercover Cop: How I Brought Down the Real-Life Sopranos, 2013, etc.), this anecdote-driven, loosely organized memoir celebrates what most cops might consider “the good old days” but what some civilians might consider a celebration of excessive force. Friedman used his fists, guns, and other available weapons to arrest, wound, and sometimes kill suspects, winning a host of medals for valor in the process. Although the memoir contains sporadic reflections on whether Friedman needed to use deadly force as often as he did, the book largely consists of unreflective war stories about New York’s perpetual criminal element, especially in neighborhoods dominated by nonwhite populations. The author does not worry about political correctness, stereotyping, or reliance on stylistic clichés. His empathy for fellow police officers wounded or killed on the job is boundless—not so for most others in the narrative. Much of Friedman’s commentary involves his desired assignment in the city’s 41st Precinct, a small area of the South Bronx sometimes referred to as “Fort Apache.” Readers can only wonder how Friedman would have fared in today’s climate of police officers wearing body cameras and vehicle dashboard cameras to document on-the-job conduct and citizens using phone cameras to record law enforcement personnel. When not on the street making arrests, Friedman chafed at completing paperwork and milling around courthouses waiting to testify. His restlessness for action never abated, to the point where he placed himself in personal peril multiple times.

A swashbuckling book that is likely to elicit extreme reactions of applause or disapproval depending on the reader’s personal opinions about law enforcement.

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-10690-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

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

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?

more