JUST DIAGNOSED

BREAST CANCER: WHAT TO EXPECT, WHAT TO KNOW, WHAT TO DO NEXT

An empathetic and appealing handbook on all aspects of breast cancer and its treatment.

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A self-help work that offers a comprehensive overview of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

At the start of her book, Karole, a certified health care professional and health administrator based in New York, makes an observation about breast cancer that will be familiar to survivors of all types of cancer: that it’s “a lifelong journey,” and it’s one that she hopes she can ease with this book. The author was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 49, and in these pages, she chronicles her own story to offer advice that readers can broadly apply to their own situations. The well-designed work enlivens its main text with insets that offer concise definitions of basics, such as chemotherapy and radiation, as well as medical devices, such as a Jackson-Pratt drain, and fields such as integrative medicine. There are also mentions of specific people who influenced Karole during her own journey and boxed “Mini-Mentions” that expand on the material at hand. The author’s inclusive approach—encompassing her own story, those of friends and acquaintances, and even occasional celebrities—allows her to touch on a wide spectrum of issues, from psychologically coming to terms with a diagnosis to navigating the complexities of the medical industry. Along the way, she offers generous helpings of low-key but helpful encouragement and advice. For example, she urges readers to ask questions and do research regarding their doctors but also stresses that one should not let this aspect act as a delay to the treatment process: “It's a tough balance,” she writes, “between figuring out in whose hands you will literally be putting your life and your breasts and how long you will take before actually getting treated.” Readers dealing with breast cancer, as well as their loved ones and other helpers, will find this book’s combination of information and good sense to be invaluable.

An empathetic and appealing handbook on all aspects of breast cancer and its treatment.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-950892-82-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

MAGIC WORDS

WHAT TO SAY TO GET YOUR WAY

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.

By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063204935

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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