A light, amusing work for fans of Wentworth’s quirky sense of humor.

ALI'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

TALES OF DESPERATION AND A LITTLE INSPIRATION

A collection of comedic vignettes about life during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In her latest book, actor and comedian Wentworth focuses on her life during the first year of the pandemic. The author contracted the virus in March 2020, forcing her to spend more than two weeks in isolation. She describes her surreal experience getting tested and the even more bizarre “fever dreams” that accompanied her illness, and she recounts how her husband’s (ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos) trip to the pharmacy to pick up her medicine made tabloid news. Wentworth also explores how our housecleaning standards changed for many of us during lockdown, and she shares the shock she felt regarding the state of her home when she emerged from isolation: “It was on par with a frat house after March Madness. It was Animal House. Literally and figuratively. As of that moment I wanted to put my family on double secret probation.” Like many of us, the author picked up some new hobbies during that time, including gardening and clamming (“Like diving for shells, there is a treasure-hunt element to the endeavor that I find irresistible”), and ate lots of junk food—not to mention spending an inordinate amount of time surfing the internet and watching TV. Once restrictions lifted, Wentworth ventured back out into the world, and she writes about getting lost and seeing a bear on a girls’ hiking trip and playing charades with Alan and Arlene Alda, Alec Baldwin, Marlo Thomas, and Phil Donahue. The author also shares poignant experiences from the time, including sending her daughter to college. “Think Cast Away, with my daughter as Wilson the volleyball,” she writes. While many readers will find plenty of relatable and/or laugh-out-loud moments, the author’s stories frequently diverge from the topic and include random, head-scratching details.

A light, amusing work for fans of Wentworth’s quirky sense of humor.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-062-98086-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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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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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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