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QUESTIONS OF THE SPIRIT

THE QUEST FOR UNDERSTANDING AT A TIME OF LOSS

A soulful exploration of the way humans love and how they cope with death.

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A handbook seeks to help readers survive loss and grow as a result.

The latest nonfiction work from Green (Generation Reinvention, 2010, etc.) centers on an alarming reality for baby boomers: the prevalence of personal loss in their lives. The author alerts readers at the outset that he has lost many important people in his life—grandparents, aunts, uncles, and most tellingly his sister—and these deaths have motivated him to write a book addressing some of the essential questions surrounding the whole experience. Is there value in suffering? Can it make someone stronger? Is there more to existence than the life humans see on Earth? What are the virtues of showing mercy, even to those who seem not to warrant it? What changes occur when a person endures a major loss? What steps can readers take to prepare their own loved ones for their inevitable deaths? This last question is echoed throughout the volume by Green’s frequent invocations of Randy Pausch’s 2008 bestseller, The Last Lecture, in which that author makes exactly this kind of life summation for his children to consult after his death. Green’s work sensitively elaborates on the larger questions raised by Pausch’s book, using end-of-chapter discussion questions to help readers examine their own behavior at key moments. “Each of us is likely to confront at some point in our lives the choice to be merciful or not,” Green writes at one point, following it up with the question: “When you have punished someone in the past, how could the outcome and consequences have been improved through mercy?” These questions, as well as his many citations of modern motivational and spiritual authors, give this guide a very inviting conversational feel, a sense that Green is helping rather than merely lecturing. His reminders to readers to remember their blessings especially when times seem darkest will likely speak directly to those dealing with loss.

A soulful exploration of the way humans love and how they cope with death.

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-76515-9

Page Count: 228

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2017

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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