100% Mariah, unburdened by filler material and written with pure heart and soul for both die-hard and casual fans.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Rolling Stone & Kirkus' Best Music Books of 2020


The mega-selling singer chronicles her life via the “moments that matter.”

Carey begins with her early childhood on Long Island in the 1970s, when she used music as a form of escapism and distraction. The fearful youngest daughter of a Black father and an Irish Catholic, opera singer mother, Carey and her two siblings braved physical violence, racial prejudice, and emotional trauma within a turbulent household “weighed down with yelling and chaos.” In the late 1980s, her music career began to blossom, especially after she met and fell in love with Tommy Mottola, who was the head of Columbia Records at the time. Carey openly shares the lurid details of her controlling and emotionally abusive marriage to Mottola in the 1990s. Through her notes on the multifaceted recording process, readers will see the author’s undeniable passion and work ethic as well as her burgeoning self-confidence. Some of the most entertaining moments are encapsulated in dishy free-form anecdotes sandwiched between tales of music career honors, personal triumphs and hardships, and health problems. Carey is at her best when her outspoken personality shines through, as when describing numerous “diva” moments or her harsh regrets about the “collision of bad luck, bad timing, and sabotage” that characterized the making of her disastrous film Glitter. The author also offers appreciative commentary on Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, and Aretha Franklin (“my high bar and North Star, a masterful musician and mind-bogglingly gifted singer who wouldn’t let one genre confine or define her”). Carey frankly reveals the many conflicting emotions she has experienced as a mixed-race woman both energized by and dismayed at the music industry’s cutthroat, often prejudicial landscape. “Lambs,” as her fans call themselves, will find plenty of juicy gems, including the revelation that she recorded a never-released “breezy-grunge, punk-light” album. These intimate ruminations are impressively detailed without being overly concerned with industry gossip or petty squabbles, creating a refreshingly candid celebrity self-portrait. One of Kirkus and Rolling Stone’s Best Music Books of 2020.

100% Mariah, unburdened by filler material and written with pure heart and soul for both die-hard and casual fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-16468-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Andy Cohen Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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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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A sweet-and-sour set of pieces on loss, absurdity, and places they intersect.


Sedaris remains stubbornly irreverent even in the face of pandemic lockdowns and social upheaval.

In his previous collection of original essays, Calypso (2018), the author was unusually downbeat, fixated on aging and the deaths of his mother and sister. There’s bad news in this book, too—most notably, the death of his problematic and seemingly indestructible father at 96—but Sedaris generally carries himself more lightly. On a trip to a gun range, he’s puzzled by boxer shorts with a holster feature, which he wishes were called “gunderpants.” He plays along with nursing-home staffers who, hearing a funnyman named David is on the premises, think he’s Dave Chappelle. He’s bemused by his sister Amy’s landing a new apartment to escape her territorial pet rabbit. On tour, he collects sheaves of off-color jokes and tales of sexual self-gratification gone wrong. His relationship with his partner, Hugh, remains contentious, but it’s mellowing. (“After thirty years, sleeping is the new having sex.”) Even more serious stuff rolls off him. Of Covid-19, he writes that “more than eight hundred thousand people have died to date, and I didn’t get to choose a one of them.” The author’s support of Black Lives Matter is tempered by his interest in the earnest conscientiousness of organizers ensuring everyone is fed and hydrated. (He refers to one such person as a “snacktivist.”) Such impolitic material, though, puts serious essays in sharper, more powerful relief. He recalls fending off the flirtations of a 12-year-old boy in France, frustrated by the language barrier and other factors that kept him from supporting a young gay man. His father’s death unlocks a crushing piece about dad’s inappropriate, sexualizing treatment of his children. For years—chronicled in many books—Sedaris labored to elude his father’s criticism. Even in death, though, it proves hard to escape or laugh off.

A sweet-and-sour set of pieces on loss, absurdity, and places they intersect.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-39245-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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