An inspiring, captivating story of resilience.



A memoir from the youngest certified sommelier in the male-dominated wine industry.

After her passionate response to the final question of the competition, James (Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, 2017) won the Sud de France Sommelier Challenge in 2013, becoming the first American female sommelier to take home the title. Soon after, at the age of 21, she became the youngest certified sommelier. Getting to that point was not an easy task. Along the way, she endured a tumultuous upbringing due to an absent mother and an alcoholic father as well as verbal and sexual abuse from customers. Growing up, James felt “that one’s social class did not define one’s character” and had the notion that she could “bring people together through wine” as a sommelier. Becoming a certified sommelier should have been a life-changing event, but she soon discovered it was not. Despite her successes, she was continually belittled for her age and faced sexism and abuse of power from employers and clients. After years of humiliation in the high-end restaurant world, where men hold the majority of the power, James became disillusioned and escaped to the vineyards of France, seeking authenticity. There, she also discovered a true sense of purpose. On her return to the States, with the support of her family, she felt “empowered to make a change.” She established a zero-tolerance policy at the restaurant she now co-owns, and, with a vision for “diversifying the wine world,” she created Wine Empowered, a nonprofit organization that offers tuition-free education for minorities and women in the hospitality industry. She also finished her book, which shares this journey and dispels many of the myths associated with the wine industry. Many of the details James shares about her experiences are disturbing and graphic in nature; however, her story also exudes warmth as she breezily weaves in her knowledge and passion for wine and shares the generous love she has for her siblings, friends, and husband.

An inspiring, captivating story of resilience.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296167-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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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 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...


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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