Fans of Aunty Entity and the lady who showed Mick Jagger his best moves will delight in Turner’s lightly spun memoir.

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MY LOVE STORY

Rock-’n’-soul icon Turner is happy at last, and she wants the world to know it.

The love story of the title is specific: The 78-year-old singer has been with her German mate for 33 years, and though bits and pieces of her body have been failing and misbehaving—she recounts a stroke, kidney failure, cancer, and other maladies—her love is going strong. It’s also generalized: Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, is enchanted by the world, from her childhood countryside to the shores of Lake Zurich, where she has lived nearly half her life. There was another love story, of course, the one that fans will know and lament: her marriage to the drug-addicted, philandering Ike Turner, of whom she writes, pointedly, “at this point in my life, I’ve spent far more time without Ike than with him.” The author emerges from these pages as self-aware and hungry for knowledge and experience. Who knew that she was a dedicated reader of Dante as well as a “favorite aunt” of Keith Richards and a practitioner of Buddhism of such long standing that Ike himself demanded that she lose her shrine? The gossip is light, though she’s clear on the many reasons she broke away from Ike. She’s also forgiving, and as for others in her circle over the years, she calls Mel Gibson “Melvin” because of his “little boy quality,” though she doesn’t approve of certain bad behavior of his. Mostly, her portraits of such figures as David Bowie and Bryan Adams are affectionate, and the secrets she reveals aren’t terribly shocking. Those fishnet stockings and short skirts, she lets slip, were more practical than prurient, the stockings running less easily than nylons and the short skirts “easier for dancing because they left my legs free."

Fans of Aunty Entity and the lady who showed Mick Jagger his best moves will delight in Turner’s lightly spun memoir.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-9824-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2018

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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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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