Even those unable to carry a tune will find that Horn's prose hits a high note.

IMPERFECT HARMONY

FINDING HAPPINESS SINGING WITH OTHERS

The joyful journey of one woman's life through song.

"Singing had punctuated all the best moments of my life. And created them," writes Horn (Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory, 2009, etc.). So, instead of keening on the floor alone when her brief marriage ended and her life hit rock bottom, it was only logical for the author to turn to singing. She joined the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York City and has rarely looked back over the past 30 years, even though she is the first to admit that her singing voice is less than perfect. With wit and honesty, Horn opens the doors to a world nonsingers rarely see or hear: the world of music as it is experienced by those who write it and who perform it. The endless weeks spent in rehearsals, taking notes, doing warm-ups and repeating the same sections over and over again until every note was perfect are just a few of the many behind-the-scene moments related by the author. As the years progressed, choir directors came and went, but Horn managed to learn from each of them, as well as her fellow choir members, on how to let go of her worries and simply bask in the joy of singing. Music is one constant that allows Horn full expression of who she is; she readily admits to crying throughout many concerts from the emotional impact of the surrounding sounds. She also gained enough courage to record her voice and enter it into a “Virtual Choir” on the Internet. The author interweaves entertaining and informative history on many well-known Masses and requiems with her reflections on what it meant to sing those particular pieces.

Even those unable to carry a tune will find that Horn's prose hits a high note.

Pub Date: July 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61620-041-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2013

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