A courageous and inspiring memoir.

WARRIOR

A MEMOIR

A doctor of physical therapy and former Marine lieutenant tells the story of her painful struggle with bulimia.

Born the only girl in a family of boys, Larson drew close to her mother, Mary Ann. But when Mary Ann died of cancer, a 10-year-old Larson was suddenly left without her main confidante. She disassociated herself from “girly” behaviors, friends, and activities and immersed herself in sports. She became a star softball pitcher who earned a full scholarship to Villanova, where she also became involved in the Marine Corps ROTC program. A high achiever, Larson also became involved in a program called Fit Forever to help her stop a pattern of “yo-yoing between salads, fruits, and healthy snacks and burgers, pizzas, and desserts, often late at night.” While the program earned the author a second-place finish in a Fit Forever competition and a reputation as the “campus fitness queen,” it also—inadvertently—reinforced the yo-yoing habits she had been trying to eliminate. Once she graduated from Villanova, she continued her military career with the Marines by going through basic training and, later, military engineering school. Though one of the top trainees, Larson still faced a sexual double standard that made her push herself even harder. The demands of her work and of the fitness competitions she entered drove her to regurgitate the unhealthy food she often ate. In Iraq, she became a highly respected Marine platoon leader, but the stress worsened the cycle of bingeing and purging. She eventually resigned and sought treatment for bulimia and became a physical therapist for other “wounded warriors.” By turns honest and heartbreaking, Larson’s book is a celebration of inner strength. It is also a poignant reminder that the mark of a true warrior is not just someone who fights wars, but who also knows how to “ask for help” in times of crisis.

A courageous and inspiring memoir.

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-239948-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: HarperOne

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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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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