A clearsighted, back-to-basics guide to liberating yourself from daily distractions.

READ REVIEW

SEVEN ESSENTIALS TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

A debut manual seeks to help readers enhance their awareness of what’s really important in their lives.

Gorain begins his sweeping, comprehensive book with a familiar observation: Despite the explosion of social media technology designed to keep everyone connected at all times, increasing numbers of people describe themselves as suffering from loneliness. “We have now accepted stress and its consequences as normal byproducts of modern living,” the author writes, “which is, in my opinion, a silent minefield threatening the carnage of our inner self.” But he refuses to see the situation as permanent and offers a program of seven key ingredients created to counter the fragmenting of attention spans and encourage the greater cohesion that leads to a feeling of well-being and purpose. Some of these essentials are simple and straightforward, such as breathing deeply and staying fully hydrated. Others are more complicated reflections on thorny problems, like the electromagnetic fields being emitted by all the tech devices filling modern life. (For instance, the author advises only working on laptops that are disconnected from power sources, maintaining that the amount of electromagnetic fields is a hundred times greater when the computers are plugged in.) These observations are balanced by advice about diet, exercise, and the proper amount of sleep. Each of the book’s sections is accompanied not only by useful discussion questions, but also by “time for action” calls for pro-active changes toward healthier living. Gorain writes all of this in a plain, forceful, conversational style that comes across much more like a friendly family doctor than an ideological self-help guru. Allowing for variations in technological gadgets, many of the life lessons dispensed in these pages wouldn’t have been out of place in a manual written a century ago: Remember to give yourself quiet time, center your concentration on what matters, try to eat right and exercise, and so on. It was all good advice then, and it’s still good advice now.

A clearsighted, back-to-basics guide to liberating yourself from daily distractions.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-228-80335-5

Page Count: 283

Publisher: Tellwell Talent

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more