An inspirational story that deserves to be told.

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TIGERBELLE

THE WYOMIA TYUS STORY

A half-century after her triumph, a record-setting Olympic champion receives her due.

Tyus, a founding member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, remains largely unknown even among American sports fans. This is partly because of her race and gender, as she came of age during a period when black females were rarely given due credit or offered much opportunity. But it may also be partly because of her personality. She was an unassuming woman from the rural South who didn’t care much about anything but running, rarely called attention to herself, and found herself overshadowed by larger-than-life figures in turbulent times. Her 1968 triumph in the 100-yard dash made her the first athlete to win gold medals in the same event in successive Olympics and followed her surprising, record-breaking win in 1964. However, that feat remains overshadowed by “Olympic protestors Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who shocked the upper echelons of the Olympic world and thrilled activists everywhere by raising their black-gloved fists on the medal stand to protest human rights violations at home and abroad.” Tyus received little notice when she dedicated her subsequent medal in the relays to them, and she felt slighted by the failure to acknowledge what she had done. Yet the author is by no means a complainer; much of the narrative’s charm derives from the author’s down-to-earth nature. Her memoir, written with co-author Terzakis (English and Creative Writing/Cañada Coll.), is also a testimonial to Ed Temple, track coach of the Tennessee State University Tigerbelles, who also served as Tyus’ Olympic coach. He discovered and trained her when she was a small-town teenager with more ability than technique, and he instilled life lessons that went well beyond track and field. Tyus may never have generated the same attention as the more ebullient Wilma Rudolph, but she has lived a life of accomplishment and meaning.

An inspirational story that deserves to be told.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61775-676-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Edge of Sports/Akashic

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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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