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

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

by Hoda Kotb


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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.

Product Details

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

About the Author

Hoda Kotb was named co-anchor of the fourth hour of Today in 2007. She has also been a Dateline NBC correspondent since 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. Her most recent book is Where We Belong, and she resides in New York City.

Read an Excerpt


  • 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.

  • 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

    Customer Reviews

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    Hoda 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 114 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Suzy Oberholtz More than 1 year ago
    I always liked hoda but now I feel like I kmow her
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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!!
    Kristan Jones More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I knew I really liked Hoda from watching the Today show but now I truly adore her. She's witty, humble, and humorous.
    Abigail Offenbaker More than 1 year ago
    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.
    PBWriter36 More than 1 year ago
    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.
    TMM2001 More than 1 year ago
    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.
    gigisix More than 1 year ago
    Very intertaining read, funny and very enjoyable.
    seasidereader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    I don't watch much television, and no daytime tv, so I didn't know who this woman was when I picked up the book at the library based only on the cover. It's a little sappy, but I liked her insider view of some hard news stories she has covered.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I did not read the book but by the reviews its a four starrer.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Watch KLG and Hoda every day. She is so real and down to earth and now I know why. She seems to genuinely care for all people no matter if they are important or famous or just regular folks. Hoda so glad you have a new love in your life. Never change. The way you are is why you have such a good and happy and fun life. Your viewers leave your show with a little bit of you rubbing off. Thank you!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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 More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago