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Rough Draft

by Katy Tur

Publishers Weekly MSNBC journalist Tur (Unbelievable) returns with a high-flying account of her unconventional, globe-trotting life in journalism. As the daughter of helicopter journalists Bob and Marika Tur, who famously captured both the O.J. chase and the Reginald Denny beating, Tur lived an extravagant youth in the 1990s. But it was far from stable; while her dashing dad was “always the hero,” she writes, he was also a threatening man known for his violent fits of rage and abuse—“It’s a miracle you can walk straight,” a news director later told Tur after realizing who she was. As her parents’ star fell in the aughts, Tur eclipsed them, rising from the Weather Channel in 2009 (“My prep work involved... watching the movie Twister”) to working as a foreign correspondent and eventually landing her own show on MSNBC. In writing that’s by turns introspective and bitingly funny (“Journalism is the world’s best career for avoiding your own problems”), she offers readers a candid look at her growth as both an anchor, learning to hold “power to account,” and as an individual finding her way through life’s vicissitudes—from supporting her father through their gender transition to parenting her own children with CBS Mornings coanchor Tony Dokoupil. Fans will find it a thrilling ride. (June)

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Library Journal MSNBC anchor Tur tracks a life shaped by the news, from flying high with her parents, maverick helicopter journalists in Los Angeles, to becoming a storm chaser and then the campaign reporter who famously stood up to Donald Trump's mockery about "Little Katy." Now she's a winner of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and author of the New York Times best-selling Unbelievable. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus The award-winning MSNBC anchor reflects on her career and on the journalist parents who inspired her. Tur spent her childhood watching her parents build the Los Angeles News Service, a “scrappy little company that covered big, breaking news stories.” While her mother, Marika, shot all the footage, her father, Bob, was “the brand.” A charismatic thrill-seeker, Bob piloted the LANS news helicopter to “scoop the competition” on news events like the 1992 Reginald Denny beating and the 1994 O.J. Simpson car chase. But behind the scenes, Tur also witnessed Bob physically abuse Marika. The adrenaline-fueled aggression her father used to build LANS led to its downfall and to a period of drug abuse, erratic behavior, divorce, and his eventual declaration that he was trans. Seeking to distance herself from the family business, Tur dismissed all thoughts of becoming a journalist until the events of 9/11 inspired her to be a witness to events unfolding in New York. After college, a temporary newsroom job led to a meeting with MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and a move to New York, where their relationship became tabloid fodder. “I paid a price for that relationship,” she writes in her characteristically honest way. “When media reporters found out that Keith was living with a twenty-three-year-old, I became, in tabloid-speak, the bimbo.” A job at the Weather Channel brought her into unexpected contact with Brian Williams and marked the start of her own professional ascent. As her star rose, the problems with her father—now called Zoey—exploded. Unwilling to acknowledge the hurt she caused her family, Zoey instead made their relationship troubles public to extract “a public declaration of love and forgiveness” in the press and live once again in the public eye. As the author probes the pain behind a storied career, she offers unvarnished insights into the fast-moving, often unforgiving world of high-powered journalism. A colorfully candid memoir from a dedicated journalist. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Last time out, (Unbelievable, 2017), MSNBC anchor Tur wrote about covering the first Trump campaign. Here she offers a more personal take, beginning with her unconventional family life. Her father, Bob, was a macho daredevil who along with his wife started the first helicopter news service, covering such high-profile events as the O. J. Simpson Bronco chase and the L.A. riots. Tur idolized her father, but she also endured his violent rages. Then, when Tur was in her twenties, her father told her he was transitioning into a woman. The relationship became even more problematic, though Tur was supportive of her father's transition. The family story is thoroughly involving, but Tur has a lot more pages to fill, and here she struggles a bit. There's her romance and marriage to CBS Mornings co-anchor Tony Dokoupil and plenty about the c-section birth of their son, Teddy. Her COVID-19 years are as boring as everyone else's COVID-19 years, and she fades to black with the events of January 6. Still, Tur (and her husband) are high profile, so this will attract attention.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.