A candid and uplifting musical memoir.

THE BEAT OF MY OWN DRUM

A MEMOIR

A noted percussionist and singer gets personal about her life and rise to fame and fortune.

From a very early age, Escovedo seemed destined to have a musical career. As an infant, the pounding of her percussionist-father Pete Escovedo’s drums “felt like the heartbeat of [her] life.” Though sports were the author’s earliest passion, the older she got, the more music became the outlet for the bitterness, guilt and anger she felt at being raped by a babysitter at age 5 and molested by male cousins for six years after that. Drawn to gangs as a young teenager, Escovedo found salvation in athletics and music. Two years later, she got her first big break when world-famous drummer Billy Cobham asked her to tour with him. At 18, she began a “life-altering” relationship with Carlos Santana. Their association ended when Escovedo discovered he was married, but her own musical star continued to ascend. Soon, she found herself playing backup for such legends as Diana Ross, Chaka Khan and Marvin Gaye. She joined forces with Prince, the second great love of her life, in the early 1980s. He helped her step out of the shadows and become Sheila E., a star in her own right. But money and notoriety took their tolls. Without her realizing it, she became a “mean, demanding and angry” diva. A breakup with Prince and breakdown of her own body led Escovedo to face her past sexual traumas. In the aftermath, she dedicated her life to God and to helping abused and disadvantaged children find “a means of processing their pain” through music. As a chronicle of one woman’s path through the male-dominated worlds of Latin music, soul, funk and pop, Escovedo’s book, written with Holden, is interesting and unique, but its greatest appeal will be to fans who know her best as Sheila E.

A candid and uplifting musical memoir.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-1494-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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