A pocket-sized pick-me-up for fans and dreamers.



Country music’s spunky doyenne presents an inspirational, feel-good stocking stuffer.

Parton channels her years of down-home sensibilities and showbiz wisdom to fans needing a life-affirming pep talk, expanding on material delivered during a commencement speech highlighting what she considers to be the eternal rewards of dreaming, learning and caring. She fondly, if fleetingly, reminisces on being raised with 11 other siblings in a “shack at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains” and touches on her school days distracted by boys, being spoon-fed Bible chapters and rebelliously applying makeup even after being warned that it was “sinful.” Parton gets personal when writing of her 46-year marriage to Carl Dean and discusses what were initially considered as ill-conceived decisions to leave The Porter Wagoner Show to branch out into pop music then conceptualize the Dollywood theme park (she admits to knowing little about its daily operations). At the heart of Parton’s brief book are positive empowerment and a refreshing work ethic that support her travel-heavy livelihood singing, acting and fulfilling philanthropic endeavors like the Dollywood Foundation and the Imagination Library, which delivers free books to children. The author credits her boundless energy level to a minimalistic need for sleep (though she takes power naps) and true happiness surrounded by friends, family and a blessed life. Parton’s kooky, boobcentric sense of humor gels nicely with pages of song lyrics, anecdotes and countrified witticisms (“I look so totally artificial, but am so totally real”).

A pocket-sized pick-me-up for fans and dreamers.

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-399-16248-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 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 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...


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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