Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee

( 109 )

Overview

SHE’S JUST LIKE THE REST OF US : overstuffed purse, always losing keys, high-maintenance hair, snack guilt after an evening binge. But she’s something different, too.

Hoda Kotb grew up in two cultures—one where summers meant playing at the foot of the ancient pyramids and another where she had to meet her junior prom date at the local 7-Eleven to spare them both the wrath of her conservative Egyptian parents. She’s traveled the globe for network television, smuggling videotapes ...

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Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee

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Overview

SHE’S JUST LIKE THE REST OF US : overstuffed purse, always losing keys, high-maintenance hair, snack guilt after an evening binge. But she’s something different, too.

Hoda Kotb grew up in two cultures—one where summers meant playing at the foot of the ancient pyramids and another where she had to meet her junior prom date at the local 7-Eleven to spare them both the wrath of her conservative Egyptian parents. She’s traveled the globe for network television, smuggling videotapes in her shoes and stepping along roads riddled with land mines. She’s weathered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and a personal Category 5 as well: divorce and breast cancer in the same year. And if that’s not scary enough, she then began cohosting the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford. (Oh, c’mon, KLG! That’s funny . . . put down the huge pour of Chardonnay and laugh with us.)

HODA reads just like Hoda—light, funny, positive, and positively inspiring.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

You might not be able to spell or pronounce Hoda Kotb's last name, but you almost certainly recognize her face. This talented, versatile television has been a Dateline NBC correspondent since 1998; a host of Your Total Health since 2004, and the co-anchor of Today's fourth hour since 2007. Since then, she has waded through hurricane ruins, cowered in war zones, survived war zones, and coped daily with the spontaneity of co-hosts and correspondents. As affable as its cover girl author.

From the Publisher
“Hoda Kotb is a wonderful storyteller. Hilarious, honest and inspiring, you will marvel as she describes her family's roots in Egypt, and their American sojourn which leads her to the career of her dreams. This book is a manual for overcoming obstacles and living life with passion and purpose. I loved it. Hoda is the working girl’s Cleopatra. She rules!”
—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of Brava, Valentine and Lucia, Lucia

“This is the Hoda I know. She’s written this book the way she lives: out loud and up-front. She has written about the stuff of all of our lives. . . love, loss. . . and what she wore!”
—Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News

Kinda kooky, Open and outrageous, Tremendously talented, Born to write. . .Kotb’s voice is as distinctive as her name. Hoda’s life story makes for a great read. Hurry out and get your ‘kotb’ today!”
—Meredith Viera, cohost of NBC’s The Today Show

“It ain’t all about the reporting y’all. Ain’t nothin’ that can stop Hoda. This gal has more guts than a super hero. She does it all and she does it with class. Now she has a delicious book on her hands. Next, we’ll use those super powers to teach her how to cook!”
—Paula Deen, New York Times bestselling author of Paula Deen's The Deen Family Cookbook

"A smart, striking, and sassy memoir. Despite her extraordinary life and success, Hoda Kotb is as real as they come, and if I can’t be her, I at least want to read about her. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry (I did plenty of both), but Hoda’s stories—like the woman behind them—are guaranteed to charm and inspire."
—Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed and Heart of the Matter

“Hoda writes the way she lives: honestly, intelligently and beautifully. No matter how her hair looks. And the reader can tell no matter what she’s sharing at the moment that she is smiling that big Hoda smile. You will too.”
—Kathie Lee Gifford, New York Times bestselling author of Just When I Thought I'd Dropped My Last Egg: Life and Other Calamities

“I love Hoda. She’s reported on the most dangerous, history-making stories of our time; made it to the Today show; survived cancer; survived a bad marriage, and she’s the only woman with more opinions than me. Who cares? You will after reading the first sentence of this page-turning memoir.”
—Joan Rivers

"Kotb’s voice is as infectiously enthusiastic as her trademark smile, each episode imbued with stalwart courage and sincere charm. From her fondness for the music of James Taylor to her fierce loyalty to New Orleans, Kotb’s memoir of life on the road, on the air, and in the trenches is not only an absorbing inside look at the highspeed world of high-stakes journalism, it is also one charismatic woman’s story of how a can-do attitude and caring family have provided the foundation and support for an exhilarating life."
Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

The autobiography of 46-year-old TV reporter and anchor Kotb. She's the one with the odd name perched next to Kathie Lee Gifford.

The author hails from the Oklahoma heartland, where her Egyptian parents arrived not long after their wedding. After traveling the world with her family, the author did the same in her nascent career as a journalist, though she first reported the news in local TV markets. She enjoyed her New Orleans gig and is inspired still by the spirit of the Big Easy. Then came Dateline NBC in 1998, where she relished assignments overseas—though she admits she was apprehensive amid gunfire, while seasoned colleague Jim Maceda was simply irritated by the racket. Since 2007, she has been the regular convivial sidekick on the fourth hour of The Today Show. Kotb's narrative of recent years gains strength as she looks at her diagnosis of breast cancer, her husband's infidelity and the divorce proceedings. Throughout the book, the author is relentlessly upbeat, and she relates her story with simple declarative sentences that occasionally enter cringe-worthy territory. Hair is a major problem, Mom's baklava is the best and "Stone Phillips is—so—incredibly—hot. He just is." Kotb is fond of Beyoncé, as well as "Matt, Al, Meredith, Ann, Natalie, the producers, and the crew." Ready to date again, she notes that she loves her family and music, but dislikes neatness and haute couture.

Unremarkable showbiz fare—frothy, easy optimism from a TV performer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439189481
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 487,723
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb was named co-anchor of the fourth hour of Today in August 2007. She has also been a Dateline NBC correspondent since April 1998 and is a New York Times bestselling author for her book, Hoda. The three-time Emmy winner also won the prestigious 2006 Peabody Award, the 2003 Gracie Award, and the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award. She resides in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Hoda


  • Recently, I was walking through one of New York City’s terrific neighborhood street fairs teeming with colorful booths. Banners promised “Millions of Socks!” and vendors proudly displayed tie-dyed scarves and chocolate-covered marshmallows on skewers. The crowd had a Sunday pace and I happily relaxed into the mix of sun-soakers and serious shoppers. As I wandered, some who watch a bit of television offered their kind hellos as they passed by. A friendly guy selling piano lessons wanted to chat. He asked one of the two questions I most often hear.

One is, “Where are you from?”

He asked the other: “How did you get to where you are today?”

It’s always that second question that makes me want to pull out a vinyl pocket photo file. It would flip-flop-flip all the way down to the ground, filled with pictures of the extraordinary people who guided me, who took a chance on me, who supported me. They are the answer. They are how I got to where I am today.

Think of all the people who’d fill your pocket photo file. Or even the pages of your book. I never really considered writing a book, and wondered—when someone suggested the idea—whether I could. I can’t remember a damn thing! Big problem. A good friend of mine, aware of my recall issues, mailed me a package of dried blueberries when she heard about my book project. The enclosed card (I’m told) read, “Good for your memory. Start eating these by the bushel!” Well, the package never arrived. Classic. The berries got lost, just like my memories.

Turns out, though, several hundred pages later, I did have a book in me. I do remember things once I dig around in the fuzzy matter a bit. (I wisely issued shovels to my siblings, too.) So, what’s my book about? It’s about where I’m from. My family. The hunt for my first television job. And the double whammy that took my breast and broke my heart at the same time. It’s about stories I’ve covered around the globe. Hurricanes Katrina and Kathie Lee. What I’ve learned so far in my life. It’s about how the dirt that gets kicked in our faces sometimes transforms into magic dust. Most important, though, these pages are a way to give credit and thanks to the people who boldly stepped up when no one else would, and who quietly sat down next to me without being asked. My book is about all that and a random guy on a plane who told me, “Don’t hog your journey.”

Okay, I won’t. Here’s my journey. I’m so glad you’re here. Pass the blueberries.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

My Vinyl Photo File xi

Part 1 The Back Story 1

1 What Is You? 3

2 My Family 19

Part 2 Going Live 45

3 The Trek 47

4 Tv News 57

5 The Network 63

6 Hot Zones 67

7 MS. Groves 99

8 Dateline 107

9 New Orleans 113

10 Hurricane Katrina 133

11 Super Bowl XLIV 145

Part 3 Shit Storms and Silver Linings 153

12 The Bad Year 155

13 Man on the Plane 183

14 The Game Changer 187

15 Get In The Game 195

Part 4 Life Without Cue Cards 199

16 You Cant Scare Me 201

17 The Fourth Hour 205

18 Kathie Lee 211

19 The Big Top 235

20 Guest Hosts and Guests 239

21 The Peacock Family 249

22 Dating 255

23 Forward 261

Where are They Now? 265

Acknowledgments 271

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(51)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Incredible

    This is one of the best autobiographies I have read. Hoda is funny and will make you laugh out loud. She is a class act and I think her stories about her family are so inspiring and she knows how very blessed she is to be part of them. I had a smile on my face throughout most of the book. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    funny and heartwarnimg

    I always liked hoda but now I feel like I kmow her

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Boring

    She is such an imteresting person with an interesting background and experienves that it is a shame she did not go into more detail. If you are a Hoda fan, just get the book from the library.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2011

    All hat and no cattle

    I agree with Kirkus: unremarkable showbiz froth. There's not a lot in here about her career progression that you couldn't learn from the Web, and she reveals nothing personally that might answer the question, What makes Hoda tick? Lots of glossy wonderfulness. And then the parts of her life that were difficult such as reporting in difficult situations, were glossed over with triteness. I skipped over a lot. I've read a number of media personality bios and autobios and most are much more insightful than this.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Fun, informative - like catching up with a best girlfriend.

    I knew I really liked Hoda from watching the Today show but now I truly adore her. She's witty, humble, and humorous.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2010

    Hated It

    Too boring and condescending!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    X

    Hdh

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Hoda

    Enjoyed so much and learned a lot about someone I enjoy watching everyday. Easy read!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Great Little Book

    Hoda shared her personal life with us, from growing up in a family that immigrated from Egypt to the USA, to her personal battle with cancer and divorce, and ending with the rise of her career. It was well written and easy to read. I would recommend it if you are a fan of hers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    Great, quick, read!

    If you are a fan of the Today show, this is a must read. She is a strong woman who has lead a very normal path to the place that she is now. The recipe that she shares in this book is also delicious!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2011

    Awesome!!

    For some odd reason I felt the urge to read this book and I read it in 2 days...it's a good book to learn a little bit from!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2011

    dissapointed fan

    I have always enjoyed watching Hoda on Today. However, her memoir disappointed me. Many parts rambled on and on so much that I skipped serveral chapters. I hoped to learn more about who Hoda is outside of journalism and news but little light was shed on more personal aspects of her life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Who doesn't love Hoda?

    Again, another memoire that is written just as the writer speaks, how nice. This book by Hoda Kotb is very delightful and a quick read - you don't want it to end and then suddenly it does.

    I watch Hoda and KLG every day and wish them success with their show; perhaps it should be expanded to include the 3rd hour of Today (?)

    Great job Hoda.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    Perfect reading material, could not put it down. It gives you a glimpse what Hoda is all about. Loved the quirks and humor that she offers. By the end of the book I felt like this is someone I would want to hang out with. Hoda is simply a down to earth woman doing what she is so passionate about. She makes you realize to never give up on your dreams no matter how many times you get knocked down. Would recommend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    Highly Recommended!!

    Very intertaining read, funny and very enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Thank you Hoda: You have inspired me!

    Excellent and truely from the heart

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Hoda is very honest and it was interesting as she talked about her family life as well as an up-and-coming reporter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    highly recommended

    very easy read. i was sorry when it ended. hoda should write more books

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Love!

    Best book yet.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Kelly slater

    I love it it really changed my life without it i can an wuld do severe damage to my brain

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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