Since Reilly takes golf more seriously than politics, making “golf terrible again” is the worst sin of all, but it’s one...

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HOW GOLF EXPLAINS TRUMP

How golf explains life and reveals character, particularly when the golfer under consideration is Donald Trump.

Renowned sports columnist Reilly (Tiger, Meet My Sister...: And Other Things I Probably Shouldn't Have Said, 2014, etc.) has known the president for 30 years, from back when he was a star columnist for Sports Illustrated and Trump called him “my favorite writer!” He would often embellish, introducing the journalist to strangers as the president or publisher of SI. Being with Trump back then was “like spending the day in a hyperbole hurricane.” If Reilly was once a Trump favorite, he no longer will be, and it will be interesting to see if Trump responds to—or even acknowledges—this book. One of the revelations is that a large percentage of Trump’s more caustic tweets have actually come from a guy initially employed as his caddy. This is a book about how Trump lies and cheats constantly, qualities that may come with the territory in his newfound field of politics but which the author believes have no place in the gentlemanly sport of golf. Trump lies about his handicap, about the quality and reputation of his courses, about the profitability or lack thereof of these operations, and even about how much he actually plays. He is apparently “on a pace to play almost triple the amount of golf Obama played,” though he frequently criticized his predecessor for playing so often. He cheats on his score, his putts, and the lies of his shots, which miraculously make their way from the rough or even the water onto the fairway. “You can think Trump has made America great again,” writes Reilly at the conclusion of his amusing, entertaining assessment of a congenital liar. “You can think Trump has made America hate again. But there’s one thing I know: He’s made golf terrible again.”

Since Reilly takes golf more seriously than politics, making “golf terrible again” is the worst sin of all, but it’s one that explains so many others.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-52808-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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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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

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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

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