A heroic, uplifting account of easing others’ suffering and building a family.

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FROM BEYOND THE SKIES

AN INVITATION INTO THE WONDER OF LOVE

A memoir about fighting AIDS and finding love in Kenya.

In her nonfiction debut, Boit recounts her experiences working at a care center in western Kenya. The shift—she’d gone there after working as a nurse on an HIV unit in Los Angeles—is more than just moving from a developed to a developing country. It also involves a drastic shift in cultural attitudes. As Boit mentions, in the U.S. in 2004, HIV was mostly treated as a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. In Kipkaren River Village where she takes up residence, however, not only are the circumstances very different (no electricity, no running water, no indoor plumbing, and so on), but so were the attitudes toward the disease itself. She met dedicated doctors who very much wanted to change that, and she also met a man named Titus, whom she married. They had a child, Ella, but the real focus of the narrative is on a premature baby named Ryan, whom Boit took into her home. Soon after, she and Titus agreed to adopt Ryan. The story expands to include their adoption of two more children. Throughout the tale, Boit maintains a glowingly optimistic, companionable tone. She never makes the foremost mistake of so many memoirists—thinking the mere details of her story will in and of themselves interest readers. Instead, she consistently ties her memories to broader insights about love and about her own personal Christian faith. “Over the years,” she writes, “as I stepped closer to those in their suffering, I came to recognize the nearness of God—present in the hard places and the pain, in the spaces where death and destruction always wanted to win.” Boit has worked in those hard places, and her memoir illuminates them.

A heroic, uplifting account of easing others’ suffering and building a family.

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63-195427-6

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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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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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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