A book that will make readers want to pack their bags and catch the first flight to somewhere far away.

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RUDY’S RULES FOR TRAVEL

LIFE LESSONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

A set of rules for life, by way of a delightful travel narrative.

Jensen (How to Recruit, Select, Induct and Retain the Very Best Teachers, 1987, etc.) and her late husband, World War II veteran Rudy, had diametrically opposite personalities, but their combination makes for excellent stories. Her memoir highlights her husband’s list of travel rules, and over the course of their adventures, he taught her how to apply them to all things in life. The tales can be hilarious or heartbreaking, but all highlight “Rule #11”: “Relax. Some kind stranger will appear.” Throughout, the author highlights Rudy’s adventuresome spirit and absolute optimism as they journeyed to Scotland, Mexico, Egypt, Indonesia, and elsewhere. The stories don’t necessarily teach readers very much about the places they visited but rather tell how to live life to the fullest. “We don’t travel to have comfort...we can have comfort at home,” Jensen writes; traveling, according to Rudy, is for learning about new cultures, and to do that, you must “ride with locals, not tourists.” In Oaxaca, for example, the Jensens were swept up in a crowd headed to celebrate Holy Thursday. They would have missed the opportunity to participate in the ceremony if they’d gone to the recommended tourist destinations—and indeed, Jensen looked up “to see tourists in the two restaurants above us…straining to see, to understand what has happened on the streets below. I see what they had missed.” Other stories are laugh-out-loud funny, as when the couple decides between two dangerous modes of transportation in Puerto Escondido. When in Egypt, the Jensens faced a heartbreaking experience, yet it was one that also showed the generosity of the people in the community. Not a lot of time is spent at any given location in each section; instead, the author takes readers to many places, briefly but vividly describing each. In this way, the author shows how Rudy’s Rules applied to a wide variety of scenarios.

A book that will make readers want to pack their bags and catch the first flight to somewhere far away.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63152-322-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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