An insightful, often engaging work that will appeal most to readers who already have knowledge of its concepts.

JOURNEY THROUGH THE SOL

A RITE OF PASSAGE TO SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

In this debut memoir, the author recounts the origins of her spiritual journey and the challenges she faced while apprenticing with teachers and guides.

Author Kaiser develops this remembrance through scenes of “awakening”—prophetic dreams that delivered important messages—and the teachings of the famed author Carlos Castaneda, an important figure throughout the book. Following the guidance of the “Right Hand Path of the Masters” (in which one aims “to transform the undersoul or the shadow self by transmuting it into a body of light”) and the advice of other teachers and writers, Kaiser developed her personal spiritual awareness. The author vividly tells of her experiences as a young child with an abusive father and a neglectful mother, showing how she started her journey toward higher purpose by moving away from the stress and dysfunction of her family life. Drawn to Reiki, chakra healing, meditation, and other holistic practices, Kaiser began to explore the world around her and how it related to her true inner self. The book is organized into sections detailing major periods of her life when specific transitions occurred, but the story as a whole is told chronologically, often through dreams. She colorfully describes the latter through storytelling, then connects them with what was happening in her life at the time, giving readers insights into both dream interpretation and her waking experience. The book also discusses past-life recollections, some from ancient times. For readers who are unfamiliar with the work and teachings of Castaneda, many of the themes and terms in the book may seem foreign. However, the author helpfully includes a glossary at the end of the text, as well as an index of dreams for reference.

An insightful, often engaging work that will appeal most to readers who already have knowledge of its concepts.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4568-1946-0

Page Count: 204

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2017

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Honest messages from one of America's best known women.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE

A compilation of advice from the Queen of All Media.

After writing a column for 14 years titled “What I Know For Sure” for O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Winfrey brings together the highlights into one gift-ready collection. Grouped into themes like Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe, Clarity and Power, each short essay is the distilled thought of a woman who has taken the time to contemplate her life’s journey thus far. Whether she is discussing traveling across the country with her good friend, Gayle, the life she shares with her dogs or building a fire in the fireplace, Winfrey takes each moment and finds the good in it, takes pride in having lived it and embraces the message she’s received from that particular time. Through her actions and her words, she shows readers how she's turned potentially negative moments into life-enhancing experiences, how she's found bliss in simple pleasures like a perfectly ripe peach, and how she's overcome social anxiety to become part of a bigger community. She discusses the yo-yo dieting, exercise and calorie counting she endured for almost two decades as she tried to modify her physical body into something it was not meant to be, and how one day she decided she needed to be grateful for each and every body part: "This is the body you've been given—love what you've got." Since all of the sections are brief and many of the essays are only a couple paragraphs long—and many members of the target audience will have already read them in the magazine—they are best digested in short segments in order to absorb Winfrey's positive and joyful but repetitive message. The book also features a new introduction by the author.

Honest messages from one of America's best known women.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1250054050

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Flatiron View Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A realistic, motivating conversation about weight loss for those who have tried everything else and failed.

THE JOY OF EATING

Part memoir and part pep talk, this debut book urges dieters to stop counting fat grams and learn to enjoy food.

When her mother died, Irwin was devastated. She was also mortified that old friends would see her at the funeral because she had “gained so much weight.” Trapped in a cycle of yo-yo dieting that had begun when she was in junior high, Irwin was a size 22 by the time she was in her 40s. Miserable, she constantly berated herself while agonizing over calories and eating prepackaged diet industry food. Then one day Irwin decided to stop dieting and love herself at any weight, eating without guilt or shame. A big believer in the “law of attraction,” where thoughts create reality, she began thinking positively about herself. Retraining her mind to view food as pleasurable nourishment, she started eating nutrient-dense items—including leafy green vegetables and fruits. And if she wanted a piece of cake—well, she just went ahead and devoured it. The pounds began coming off naturally, and as time passed, Irwin’s once overweight body became fit. This dramatic and familiar life story quickly turns into an upbeat motivational speech for stressed-out dieters, as Irwin divulges her no-frills secret for healthy weight loss—eat good food and feel great about it. While this common-sense approach isn’t new, diet-disgusted readers who don’t mind a curse word or two may be able to relate to Irwin’s friendly, plainspoken voice, as when she describes dysfunctional labels people often place on food: “How about this classic attitude, ‘Fuck it, I’ve been so bad this week I think I’ll just eat the rest of this box of cookies’?” Some of the author’s inspirational thoughts are memorable: she compares the negative voice in her head to a bully who shouldn’t be tolerated. Light on diet jargon and health-related facts (the author mentions that 68.5 percent of U.S. adults are overweight, but she doesn't cite sources), this thin, fast-paced work can be read in a couple of hours.

A realistic, motivating conversation about weight loss for those who have tried everything else and failed.    

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5043-6051-7

Page Count: 124

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2017

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