A candid, valuable look at infertility.

GRADE A BABY EGGS

AN INFERTILITY MEMOIR

An exceedingly honest examination of the reality of infertility and the emotionally traumatic experiences involved.

In what is said and left unsaid in Hopewell’s memoir, a clear picture emerges of the emotional effects that infertility has on a couple trying to conceive, as well as how it affects their lives in ways they hadn’t imagined. From descriptions of treatments and procedures to an insightful look at the community within the world of in vitro fertilization patients, a reader looking to learn about IVF or the process of using a donor egg will find many answers here. Hopewell takes the reader through the ordeal chronologically with chapter titles that humorously depict the stages of a harrowing experience. Her honesty illuminates the stark reality of infertility and the many unappealing procedures required to verify it, as well as unglamorous other means to become pregnant, if the woman so chooses. Parallel to the medical aspects is Hopewell’s personal experience: the upsetting conversations with her children about the specifics of adding a new family member and the difficulties she faced in making the decision to use a donor egg. The emotional implications of any pregnancy can be far-reaching—the ostensibly joyous occasion can be colored by any number of complications, as Hopewell frankly describes. Well-written and thoughtful, Hopewell’s memoir sheds a sometimes unflattering light on her life en route to an unconventional pregnancy; her bluntness is to be commended because it may be just what some women in similar circumstances need. Readers will gain a new understanding of how infertility affects one’s family, social circle, career and self-perception.

A candid, valuable look at infertility.

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-1936940110

Page Count: 214

Publisher: Epigraph

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2012

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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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