A bright, morally unwavering worldview from an exemplary human being.

CARRY ON

REFLECTIONS FOR A NEW GENERATION

More hard-won wisdom from the late congressman, civil rights icon, and co-author of the indispensable March series.

In this collection of short observations on topics ranging from courage to patience to sports, Lewis (1940-2020) lays bare the vision and stratagems that sustained him through his lifelong, often brutal struggle for Black liberty. The author will long be remembered as a champion for Black equality as well as common decency and peace. One of the standout advocates of nonviolent political action, Lewis sought out “good trouble, necessary trouble”—such as that displayed by Rosa Parks, who “knew in her heart [that she] was right”—when the forces arrayed against Black civil rights bared their teeth. At the same time, he writes, “destruction doesn’t work. Rioting isn’t a movement. We must be constructive and not destructive. Chaos is sowing more division and discord.” Violence, writes the author, only serves to drown out injustice, surrendering the higher moral ground. As he demonstrates throughout, Lewis was a force for compassion, empathy, dignity, and self-worth, constantly pursuing justice reform, speaking out in the face of fear, and moving forward in the faith that good can come from principled, collective action. Lewis expresses himself with clarity, authenticity, and humility, all of which can be applied in nearly every arena, including health care (“a human right”), voting (“VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE. Write that in capital letters in your notes. All over the page. Remember the time when the right to vote was denied us? I do”), the environment (“We have a moral obligation to do what we can to preserve and save this little piece of real estate”), and immigration (“Welcome home. America wants and needs you”). The author’s courage and conviction are crystal clear, and it’s also evident that he never feared death because he knew that his life had purpose.

A bright, morally unwavering worldview from an exemplary human being.

Pub Date: July 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5387-0712-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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