An honest and eloquent look at life from someone who has lost two of her senses.

NOT FADE AWAY

A MEMOIR OF SENSES LOST AND FOUND

One woman's story of gradually losing her sight and hearing.

From the age of 12, Alexander knew her life was going to change. Born with two recessive genes that cause type-III Usher syndrome, the author was told she would experience the gradual loss of her hearing and sight until she would be completely blind and deaf. With honesty and compassion, she details the slow, steady progression of her disease even as she tried to hide her disabilities from her friends, boyfriends and co-workers. Realizing that her world was narrowing, Alexander excelled in school, played soccer and delivered meals to HIV/AIDs patients. However, she continued to deny she had any physical ailments. Then, just after high school graduation, calamity struck. Drunk and nearly blind in the dark, Alexander stumbled off her balcony, landing 27 feet below on a stone patio; she broke every limb in her body except her right foot and leg. Multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy forced Alexander to make conscious decisions about her future. After attending the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City and attended Columbia, double majoring in social work and public health. She became a spin instructor, fell in and out of love, and continued to assess the pros and cons of her disabilities. She could shut out the never-ending sounds of the city by removing her hearing aids, but then she could no longer hear a person whisper in her ear. She couldn't really see the stars, but she loved the feel of a person signing into her hands in the dark. As she steadily accepted her fate, Alexander emphasized the importance of embracing the here and now, of being present and grateful for the gift of life, in whatever shape it might take.

An honest and eloquent look at life from someone who has lost two of her senses.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59240-831-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

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