A light, entertaining story of how a man turned his pipe dream into a profitable, highly respected business.

PANCAKES IN PARIS

LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM IN FRANCE

How the author created the ultimate American diner experience in Paris.

Carlson’s love of all things French began when he was required to take a foreign language in high school. Learning French changed his perspective on the world, and it was only natural to choose France as his destination for his collegiate study-abroad program. When his year overseas was up, he returned to America to continue pursuing his screenwriting career. But it was while eating an American breakfast complete with buckwheat pancakes that Carlson had an epiphany that changed his life. He realized the food he was eating wasn’t available in Paris. “Suddenly, I could see everything so clearly….I realized all those twists and turns, all those ups and downs....They really had happened for a reason. And at that moment, I knew exactly what I wanted to do—no, had to do next: open an American diner in Paris! I even knew what I was going to call it—Breakfast in America.” With nonstop enthusiasm, the author details the many obstacles he faced to make his dream a reality. He needed to secure money from investors, create a viable business plan, find a good location, hire employees, create a menu, and find sources for American foods, all while on French soil and following French rules, which turned out to be vastly different from those in the United States. Despite all these setbacks, the exhaustion that comes from working almost every minute, and the difficulty convincing Parisians that American food and coffee are actually tasty, Carlson’s desire to bring American diner food to Paris paid off (there are now three locations). The author demonstrates that no idea is too crazy if one has the determination to pursue it to its fruition.

A light, entertaining story of how a man turned his pipe dream into a profitable, highly respected business.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3212-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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...

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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