...the book reminds us how rewarding it can be to see a parent outside the context of our own needs. It's that illumination that allows Corrigan to turn what starts as a complaint about her mother into a big thank you.
The main problem is that in trying to give the book enough window-dressing to encourage sales, the authors veer from academic rigour to lightweight anecdotal evidence in a way that squanders much of their authority.
Mr. Gates has been a public servant for four decades under eight presidents. I think that he should have let time heal wounds before writing his book, but it was obviously an exorcism of the demons that he acquired while writing over a thousand condolence letters to the families of our fallen warriors.
Stossel’s personal stories are absorbing...His discovery that his young daughter has a phobia of vomiting, despite not knowing of her father’s identical fear, is both eye-opening and heartbreaking...My Age of Anxiety is a compelling mix of research, personal journalism and insights.
They are routine failures that Mr Shteyngart’s prose and his New York brand of empathy—brusque and big-hearted—render meaningful and poignant. He fails and fails and fails, and then he doesn’t. Through grit and struggle and self-awareness, things fall into place...
In the end I’m not sure that some of the central questions about writing and drinking ever really get answered. Their alcoholism may have destroyed them, but did it in some way make them great writers?
"Get stewed," wrote Philip Larkin, "books are a load of crap." Autobiography is certainly not that, but it is as exasperating, coruscating, thrilling and deflating as its creator.
The author dishes plenty...but the repeated demonstrations of flawed character do nothing to diminish Williams’ outsized stature as a player. Bradlee is as enthusiastic as Vin Scully...
Though her life did not hold the challenges familiar to the 99 percent, it took strength to stay sensible amid temptations...This book — not profound but quite delicious — shows how those qualities grew in both hospitable and inhospitable soil.
...like much of what goes before it, it proves hard to sustain her extreme subject. After a while everything tastes the same—just like chicken.
The later journey to sobriety sees him leaning harder on cliche – he's particularly fond of the idea that relapse is part of recovery – but the sense of threat, to himself and others, is constant.
...a testament to Roosevelt’s enterprising use of “the bully pulpit” and his potent powers of leadership and persuasion.
Though much of "Hatching Twitter" is hobbled by weak anecdotes and schlocky metaphors, the book is carried by Bilton's excruciating account of Dorsey's evolution.
This Is a Story of a Happy Marriage is well organized and in a succinct fashion couples premises with pertinent examples that hold a reader’s interest. It is a book that will enhance a writer’s thought process, providing alternative ways to approach plot, structure, character development—and writer’s block.
As compelling as a car wreck, it’s impossible to look away, even though the catalogue of misery sometimes threatens to overwhelm.
“Tune In” pays close attention to the many American influences on the young pre-Beatles...They hit adolescence just as rock ’n’ roll records became buyable, and “Tune In” keenly chronicles the favorites that they would draw on or recycle, even for their name: Beatles was a play on Buddy Holly’s Crickets, simple as that.
This is a rich and fascinating book that never relaxes its hold on the reader despite the marshalling of a mass of complex historical details seen through the prism of Cixi.
Greig’s understanding of Freud’s place in art history...is...banal, as are his analyses of the connections between life and art...
There are cliches aplenty, and awkward sentences such as "My words hung in the air without reply and eventually evaporated." There is also some nickel-and-dime psychology: Johnny's mother "was indifferent and lacked emotion."....there is something distasteful about this self-aggrandizing rehashing.
Stone's vivid profiles and lucid analyses of business dynamics make for an entertaining, insightful, behind-the-scenes account of the e-commerce revolution.