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  New York Times Review

SMALL FRY: A Memoir, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. (Grove, $17.) In her account of growing up as the daughter of an artist and the Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, the author offers an eloquent meditation on being caught between her parents' two worlds, and struggling with her father's emotional negligence and abuse. Full of uncanny intimacy and a distinctive literary sensibility, the book was one of the Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2018. THE HELLFIRE CLUB, by Jake Tapper. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $16.99.) In his first novel, the CNN anchor tells the story of a McCarthy-era congressman with dark secrets. He's soon confronted with the depth of Washington's corruption, seeing where money, ambition and power intersect. A parade of notable characters make appearances: Herbert Hoover, the Nixons, Roy Cohn, President Eisenhower. A BITE-SIZED HISTORY OF FRANCE: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment, by Stephane Hénaut and Jeni Mitchell. (New Press, $17.99.) This Franco-American couple (one a cheesemonger, the other an academic) tell the story of France's most iconic dishes and wines, and the historical, political and cultural forces that shaped them. Their discussions of oysters, champagne and more are lighthearted and memorable. LETHAL WHITE, by Robert Galbraith. (Mulholland/ Little, Brown, $18.99.) J.K. Rowling, writing under a pseudonym, returns to her detective hero Cormoran Strike. Strike is approached by a mentally unstable young man, Billy, who believes he witnessed a crime as a child. As Strike investigates, he's drawn into class politics, which Galbraith handles with a wry wit. Our critic Sarah Lyall called "Lethal White" "a big, stuffed-to-the-brim, complicated bouillabaisse of a book, not least because of the busy inner lives of its protagonists." ROCKET MEN: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon, by Robert Kurson. (Random House, $18.) Over 50 years after the Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth's orbit, Kurson tells the story of its remarkable journey, from the ferocity of blastoff to the astronauts' unexpected frailty in space, and captures the paradoxes and the glory of the first lunar orbit. IMMIGRANT, MONTANA, by Amitava Kumar. (Vintage, $17.) This thoughtful and entertaining novel follows an Indian graduate student in the United States as he negotiates a new life, capturing his growing estrangement from his homeland and family. As he tells it, his story is anchored by the women with whom he falls in and out of love, and the book has the feeling of a thinly veiled memoir.

  Library Journal Review

As the youngest of seven children born to fundamentalist parents in remote Idaho, seven-year-old Westover realized it was unusual that her siblings didn't go to school. Her father's distrust of government, education, and doctors meant Westover didn't have a birth certificate, medical records, or school records. Neglect and abuse were common, especially at the fists of one of her older brothers. Encouraged by another brother who got out, Westover begins the process of getting "educated" when she entered her first-ever classroom at 17 as a freshman at Brigham Young University. -Basic history-the Holocaust, the civil rights movement-was yet unknown to her, but she progressed to Cambridge, Harvard, and back to Cambridge for a PhD in history. Narrator Julia Whelan embodies Westover's steely almost detached resolve, maintaining modulated control even amid desperate, dangerous situations-broken bones, third-degree burns, gruesome accidents. She reserves her growls and bellows for the Westover men determined-yet who fail-to keep their women down. VERDICT A Mormon metamorphosis memoir is such a rarity that readers will undoubtedly be drawn to getting Educated. ["Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but...Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style": LJ 2/1/18 review of the Random hc.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

To the Westovers, public education was the quickest way to put yourself on the wrong path. By the time the author, the youngest Westover, had come along, her devout Mormon parents had pulled all of their seven children out of school, preferring to teach just the essentials: a little bit of reading, a lot of scripture, and the importance of family and a hard day's work. Westover's debut memoir details how her isolated upbringing in the mountains of Idaho led to an unexpected outcome: Cambridge, Harvard, and a PhD. Though Westover's entrance into academia is remarkable, at its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself: nowhere is this more powerful than in her relationship with her brother Shawn, her abuser and closest friend. In its keen exploration of family, history, and the narratives we create for ourselves, Educated becomes more than just a success story.--Winterroth, Amanda Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

A recent Cambridge University doctorate debuts with a wrenching account of her childhood and youth in a strict Mormon family in a remote region of Idaho.It's difficult to imagine a young woman who, in her teens, hadn't heard of the World Trade Center, the Holocaust, and virtually everything having to do with arts and popular culture. But so it was, as Westover chronicles here in fairly chronological fashion. In some ways, the author's father was a classic anti-government paranoiacwhen Y2K failed to bring the end of the world, as he'd predicted, he was briefly humbled. Her mother, though supportive at times, remained true to her beliefs about the subordinate roles of women. One brother was horrendously abusive to the author and a sister, but the parents didn't do much about it. Westover didn't go to public school and never received professional medical care or vaccinations. She worked in a junkyard with her father, whose fortunes rose and fell and rose again when his wife struck it rich selling homeopathic remedies. She remained profoundly ignorant about most things, but she liked to read. A brother went to Brigham Young University, and the author eventually did, too. Then, with the encouragement of professors, she ended up at Cambridge and Harvard, where she excelledthough she includes a stark account of her near breakdown while working on her doctoral dissertation. We learn about a third of the way through the book that she kept journals, but she is a bit vague about a few things. How, for example, did her family pay for the professional medical treatment of severe injuries that several of them experienced? Andwith some justificationshe is quick to praise herself and to quote the praise of others.An astonishing account of deprivation, confusion, survival, and success. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University <br> <br> One of . . . The New York Times Book Review 's Must-Know Literary Events of 2018<br> BBC's Books Look Ahead 2018<br> Stylist 's 20 Must-Read Books to Make Room For in 2018<br> Entertainment Weekly 's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2018<br> Bustle 's 13 Authors You Need to Be Watching in 2018<br> Daily Express 's Must-Have New Reads<br> The Pool 's Books We're Looking Forward to in 2018 <br> <br> Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills" bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father's junkyard.<br> <br> Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.<br> <br> When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.<br> <br> Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one's closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
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