The wink-wink title tells readers everything they need to know.

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THE HARDEST (WORKING) MAN IN SHOWBIZ

HORNY WOMEN, HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS AND THE RISE OF THE HEDGEHOG!

He’s more than just a porn star, people.

“I’ve had sex with more than four thousand women in my life, but I've been in love with only five of them,” says Ron Hyatt, who changed his last name to Jeremy in order to mollify his parents. You won’t know much more than that about any of them after reading this basically affable but generally repetitive autobiography of the world’s best-known porn performer; you also won’t be surprised to find out that Jeremy has had very few long-term relationships. He’s quite fascinated with his career and hopes you will be, too—you’d better be, given his obsessive-compulsive attitude toward getting work, any work, and his tendency to talk about it ad nauseum. Born in 1953, he had a good-Jewish-boy upbringing in Queens, worked various odd jobs as a young adult in the Catskills and started on a master’s degree in special education. Things changed drastically after his girlfriend talked him into sending a naked photo of himself to Playgirl. The evidence of his sizable manhood resulted in a flood of men and women calling his parents’ home, and a rising adult-film star was born. Jeremy’s narrative is occasionally informative, especially for those curious about the porn business and the world of C-list actors. He effects an amiable lack of ego, constantly mocking his bad taste in jokes, portly physique and general dork-itude, but when the ego surfaces, it’s a monster, with him endlessly relating his celebrity encounters and friendships (John Frankenheimer to Slash), paying special attention to the compliments they shower on him. This makes for an amusingly schizophrenic book: half self-positive celebration of the purportedly fun and harmless porn business, half defensive retort that the author is above all that—being a classically trained pianist and all.

The wink-wink title tells readers everything they need to know.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-06-084082-X

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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

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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

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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

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