Historically significant firsthand documentation from the 20th century’s darkest period.

ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR NAME

A TRUE STORY OF FAMILY AND SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ

Two survivors of the Holocaust offer a dual-voiced account of their concentration camp experiences and their lives afterward.

The Bucci sisters spent their early lives in Fiume, an Italian city taken over by Croatia at the end of World War II. In this shared memoir, the authors bear witness to the nine months (April 1944 to January 1945) they spent at Auschwitz. They were 6 and 4 when they were first separated from their family. Their fate was unusual, since most children were killed on arrival. But as translator Goldstein speculates in her note, because they looked almost identical, they may have appealed to Josef Mengele, who experimented on twins. The Buccis attribute their survival in the camp to the unexpected kindness of an otherwise cruel female prison guard who gave them extra food and unexpected gifts. “We don’t know the reason,” write the authors, “but it’s precisely her care for us that later saved our lives.” After liberation, the two were sent for one year to Prague and then to a group home for child Holocaust survivors run by a woman who trained under child psychologist Anna Freud. The woman later found the girls’ parents, both of whom had survived imprisonment but in postwar years had been forced to move to Trieste to retain Italian citizenship. Their mother pushed them to “grow up as Catholics” to protect them from harm, but the girls held fast to Judaism. That decision formed the bedrock of the commitment they developed as older women to forgo forgetfulness of the past and tell their story. Written in the simple, direct language of witness and accompanied throughout by family photographs, this poignant story celebrates human resilience and warns readers living in an increasingly divided and chaotic world to beware the “monsters” created by “the sleep of reason.”

Historically significant firsthand documentation from the 20th century’s darkest period.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66260-071-5

Page Count: 190

Publisher: Astra House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

THE DEFENSE LAWYER

THE BARRY SLOTNICK STORY

The Patterson publishing machine clanks its way into the nonfiction aisles in this lumbering courtroom drama.

Barry Slotnick made a considerable fortune and reputation as a defense attorney who had a long list of controversial clients, including mob boss John Gotti and Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. An “urbane lawyer known for his twenty-five-hundred-dollar Fioravanti suits, he was not unacquainted with violence,” write Patterson and Wallace. One of his early cases, indeed, involved a group of Jewish Defense League members who allegedly blew up a Broadway producer’s office, killing a woman who worked there. Slotnick’s defense was a standard confuse-the-jury ploy, but it worked. He put similar tactics to work in his defense of Bernhard Goetz, the “subway shooter” whose trial made international news. The authors open after that trial had concluded in yet another Slotnick win, and with a sensational incident: He was attacked by a masked man who beat him with a baseball bat. The evidence is sketchy, but it seems to place the attack in the hands of organized crime—perhaps even Gotti himself. No matter: Slotnick, “who saw himself as the foe of the all-powerful government” and “liberty’s last champion,” was soon back to representing clients including Radovan Karadžić, the murderous Bosnian Serb who was eventually imprisoned for having committed genocide; Dewi Sukarno, the widow of Indonesia’s similarly bloodstained president, “arrested for slashing the face of a fellow socialite with a broken champagne glass at a party in Aspen”; and Melania Trump, who had chosen Slotnick “to handle her prenup.” In the hands of a John Grisham, the story might have come to life, but while Patterson does a serviceable if cliché-ridden job of recounting Slotnick’s career, he fails to give readers much reason to admire the man.

For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49437-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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