A funny, touching, and ultimately uplifting story of a woman searching for love and purpose.

YES, AGAIN

(MIS)ADVENTURES OF A WISHFUL THINKER

A memoir about a 70-something widow navigating the world of 21st-century dating.

In her nonfiction debut, Weissinger interweaves stories of her early life with tales of participating once again in the dating world, many years after her husband’s death. She’d lost her spouse to esophageal cancer when she was 57, and her account in these pages details her search for someone else to invite into her life in her 70s. But on what terms, she wondered, and to what end? Was she looking for someone as just a buddy, as a more serious companion, or as a potential husband? These questions almost immediately seem coy, because as the narrative progresses, her search for romance become clear. Over the course of the book, the author tells of how she spent time on internet dating sites, such as Our Time and Zoosk, and relates stories from her experience that readers of any age who’ve also tackled the dating scene will find familiar. Interspersed among these accounts are reminiscences drawn from Weissinger’s nondating life. She writes about her rocky relationship with one of her daughters; her experiences with her late husband, Matt, including some very moving passages about his final days; and her many activities later in life, from volunteering at animal shelters to working with medical organizations as a Spanish-language translator. However, the primary focus of the book remains the author’s search for a new significant other in her life.

The wry, upbeat humor of that search is the key attraction of the book. Throughout the narrative, Weissinger consistently portrays herself as a dogged optimist—someone who’s always hoping and striving to see the best in people. This quality comes out in her nondating stories, too, and most clearly in several of her anecdotes about her adult children and her experiences in Latin America. However, the war stories from online dating carry the narrative. Weissinger is low-key and funny about the men that she encountered, including a guy with a tattoo that linked his eyebrows, “bearded Santa Claus types wearing John Deere caps and drinking beer,” a “dude with obviously dyed, coal black Dracula-style hair” (“a black it had never been in his twenties,” she gently adds), and “the one whose selfies made him look like a wanted criminal on FBI posters.” These lighthearted misadventures are skillfully counterbalanced with emotionally revelatory passages about her time volunteering in the Dominican Republic. At first, she asked herself, “Hadn’t I aged out of this kind of adventure?” But soon, she describes herself as feeling “stripped of superfluous trappings, in touch with the essence of what matters in life, close to my skin, and accepted into others’ skins and lives.” There are a few passages and threads along the way that feel a bit predictable, but her portraits of the many people she met on her journeys are rendered with contagious sympathy and energy, which makes for a confident, quality remembrance.

A funny, touching, and ultimately uplifting story of a woman searching for love and purpose.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-64-742315-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2021

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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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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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