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DO THE WORK!

AN ANTIRACIST ACTIVITY BOOK

An entertaining resource for anyone seeking genuine engagement with anti-racist activism.

An anti-racist interactive workbook leads readers through a journey of self-reflection, education, and activism.

Bell is a Black comedian, director, creator of CNN’s United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell, and the ACLU Artist Ambassador for Racial Justice, and Schatz is a sought-after queer feminist activist, public speaker, and author of Rad American History A-Z, among other books. Throughout, humorous dialogues between the authors frame the many useful activities. The authors define terms, reflect on personal experiences, and anticipate objections to engaging in activism that could come at a personal cost. Interspersed between these interactions are activities ranging from crossword puzzles and word searches to spaces for reflection and planning. The text also incorporates a variety of graphics—e.g., an iceberg illustrates the unseen effects of White supremacy, and a jukebox displays possible responses to racist comments. In the final section, the authors address the emotional impact of anti-racist activism, encouraging readers to reflect on their fears about taking part in anti-racist activities and to create strategies for making amends if and when they make mistakes. Bell and Schatz intend for readers to finish the book with the ability to identify their privileges (“unearned access to social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group”), define anti-racism, and have a plan for a variety of circumstances, including discussing race with children, reducing dependence on policing, and safely participating in public protest. Overall, the narrative is practical and accessible, balancing historical context with self-reflection and direct action. The dialogues between the authors are informative, frank, and vulnerable, creating a safe space for both learning and taking risks. While the authors introduce the book as being for people of all races, the text itself feels more relevant to White people than people of color.

An entertaining resource for anyone seeking genuine engagement with anti-racist activism.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-523-51428-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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CALL ME ANNE

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

The late actor offers a gentle guide for living with more purpose, love, and joy.

Mixing poetry, prescriptive challenges, and elements of memoir, Heche (1969-2022) delivers a narrative that is more encouraging workbook than life story. The author wants to share what she has discovered over the course of a life filled with abuse, advocacy, and uncanny turning points. Her greatest discovery? Love. “Open yourself up to love and transform kindness from a feeling you extend to those around you to actions that you perform for them,” she writes. “Only by caring can we open ourselves up to the universe, and only by opening up to the universe can we fully experience all the wonders that it holds, the greatest of which is love.” Throughout the occasionally overwrought text, Heche is heavy on the concept of care. She wants us to experience joy as she does, and she provides a road map for how to get there. Instead of slinking away from Hollywood and the ridicule that she endured there, Heche found the good and hung on, with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford starring as particularly shining knights in her story. Some readers may dismiss this material as vapid Hollywood stuff, but Heche’s perspective is an empathetic blend of Buddhism (minimize suffering), dialectical behavioral therapy (tolerating distress), Christianity (do unto others), and pre-Socratic philosophy (sufficient reason). “You’re not out to change the whole world, but to increase the levels of love and kindness in the world, drop by drop,” she writes. “Over time, these actions wear away the coldness, hate, and indifference around us as surely as water slowly wearing away stone.” Readers grieving her loss will take solace knowing that she lived her love-filled life on her own terms. Heche’s business and podcast partner, Heather Duffy, writes the epilogue, closing the book on a life well lived.

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781627783316

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viva Editions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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