With vivid characterizations, spot-on locale descriptions and sly jokes at her own expense, Klein offers an original and...

MOOSE

A MEMOIR OF FAT CAMP

A candid memoir of the author’s struggle with her weight.

When Klein (Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir, 2006), a self-professed rotund adolescent turned nicely shaped adult, was told by her pre-term labor specialist that she must gain 50 pounds before giving birth, the author understandably balked. “If I gained 50 pounds, I’d weigh more than a Honda,” she notes, “and certainly more than my husband, which was worse.” Her doctor’s edict transported her back to childhood, which was filled with taunts, unrequited crushes and unhealthy processed food. Klein recalls when she hit “156 pounds and change” despite numerous trips to a local nutritionist, after which she was sent off to Camp Yanisin, an overnight camp where overweight children learn how to eat and exercise properly. The most important lessons came not from the counselors, but from fellow campers, who all battled the same demons. A popular blogger, Klein is occasionally honest to the point of discomfort, but her sense of humor and appreciation of the absurd temper her periodic self-pity and make her sophomore outing at once readable and inspiring. When things get too heavy (no pun intended), there’s a childhood diary entry to lighten the mood: “I’m considered ‘hot’ at this camp. I’m going to get so much booty when I get home—don’t get me wrong, I’m not a slut. I just have a hard time saying ‘no.’ ”

With vivid characterizations, spot-on locale descriptions and sly jokes at her own expense, Klein offers an original and touching take on the all-too-common problem of childhood obesity.

Pub Date: May 20, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-084329-8

Page Count: 364

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2008

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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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