@Bojana Thank you for the recommendation.  :) I’ve added “The use of man- Upotreba čoveka” by Aleksandar Tišma, to my reading list for November. Look forward to learning more about WW2 -Yugoslavia, which I am woefully ignorant about. 

I have just today requested from the library a new book by Maria Sharapova. IMO, Maria is one of the most beautiful and inspirational women in the world. Just love her.

Unstoppable: My Life So Far

by Maria Sharapova 
(Sarah Crichton, $28)

“She might have thought of a better title,” said Laura Williamson in The Daily Mail (U.K.). During the 13 years since she established herself as a tennis superstar, Maria Sharapova has been far from unstoppable against at least one opponent: Serena Williams has beaten her 18 consecutive times. But Sharapova, who has collected five Grand Slam titles of her own, proves to be “a great storyteller as well as a champion athlete,” said Caroline Howe, also in the Daily Mail. In her compelling new memoir, she shows the good sense to open with a low moment: the day early last year when she learned she had tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faced a temporary ban from her sport. “For the first time in my life,” she says, “I was worried what people thought of me.”

Her backstory turns out to be “a tale of rags to riches, with a slightly nihilistic Russian twist,” said Julia Felsenthal in Vogue​.com. Born in 1987 to parents who’d just fled Belarus to escape the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Sharapova flashed so much talent so young that her father moved her from Russia to Florida at 6, making an already focused girl almost single-minded. Strapped for cash, the pair slept on friends’ couches and begged entry to elite tennis academies where Maria learned to ignore the teasing of wealthier kids she beat handily. By 11, she had a Nike deal and a clear sense of purpose: Her job was to secure the family’s stability. That explanation for her mercenary approach doesn’t make her more likable, but “it does make her a hell of a lot more knowable.”

Her business savvy explains why she chose Rich Cohen—“a nonfiction master”—as her co-writer, said David Shaftel in the Financial Times. Cohen adds polish to every anecdote, including Sharapova’s protestation that she had taken Meldonium at a doctor’s urging since 2006 and didn’t realize that tennis had banned the drug in 2016. Sports fans will also want to hear Sharapova’s take on Serena Williams, said Ben Rothenberg in The New York Times. Many tennis players write autobiographies; “few, if any, write so candidly about a rival before they have played their last match.”


September 29, 2017

Here is a promotional interview for her book with my favorite interviewer, Charlie Rose.


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