An upbeat and gently challenging series of observations about growing older.



A personal, faith-oriented self-help book that offers a new way of looking at aging.

Reflecting on her own life as she approaches her 60th year, Blue, a retired nurse and author of Made With Words (2018), wonders what the future will bring: “Will I continue to be healthy?” she asks. “How much help will my children need? Should I start a new career?” As she takes readers through reminiscences about events from the late 1960s to the present, she reflects on changes in her life and how it’s been informed by her Christian faith. She recalls her grandparents, her childhood, and her years as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist, drawing lessons about aging from every stage, always accompanied by practical advice and insights: “If you’ve been sitting and reading awhile, it's time to turn your head, change positions, do some stretches, or stand up and walk a bit,” she writes in one representative passage. “My nursing language would state I need to balance activity vs. rest.” She also frequently talks about how her faith is a part of her daily life: “My daily challenge is to hear Christ’s voice and not my own.” Each chapter ends with a section of direct interaction with the reader, including discussion questions under the heading “Your Turn,” such as “Who are your role models for aging now? Make a list of your top five. Have they changed over the past ten years?” At every stage of her book, Blue effectively combines a funny, happy-go-lucky attitude toward the aging process with an energetic interrogation of what her readers think about getting old. At one point, she intriguingly asks, “What are you hungry for at the age of sixty or seventy?” which can apply both to actual food—her advice on daily matters, such as food indulgences or staying well-hydrated, run throughout the book—and deeper hungers to stay engaged and motivated in later years. Aging Christian readers will likely feel as if they’re reading the advice of an old friend.

An upbeat and gently challenging series of observations about growing older.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-63755-055-7

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Mascot Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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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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