CHOICES by Carol  McManus


Real People Share Their Stories of How They Overcame Challenges to Design a Better Life
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A collection of anecdotes about making life changes that focuses on shifting one’s habits and finding new routes to success.

McManus (co-author: Ten Traits for Top Performers, 2006) and Skidmore (co-author: Rock Your Life, 2017) collect a large series of personal stories in this self-improvement book, including tales of career changes, improved diets, family decisions, and romantic relationships. Each chapter begins with an essay about the importance of change in a particular area of life and illustrates it through real-life accounts of struggle and triumph. For example, in one section, a woman reflects on her decision to separate from an abusive mother; this painful process, she learned, was crucial to her ability to lead a healthy, productive, stable life. In another chapter, a man discovers that he must change his diet in order to prevent health problems compounded by years of unhealthy, sedentary behavior. The stories vary in depth and severity, making this a great book for readers looking to improve either large or small areas of their lives. Choice, the authors explain, is the most important tool that one has to design one’s own existence. Although the book does take on a repetitive rhythm, with each new theme followed by short examples, the stories are varied enough to keep things fresh and engaging. One chapter, for instance, discusses deepening one’s social connections by having in-depth conversations with the people one meets in such settings as volunteer organizations or educational classes. Specifically, the authors suggest straying from the topic that brought you together with others in order to find out more about their lifestyles and interests. It’s only through such fearless exploration, the authors assert, that bonds can grow. Although not every chapter will speak to every reader, the book supplies something for everyone.

A highly conversational self-help book that successfully documents how many have made positive decisions in their lives.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-938015-82-3
Page count: 206pp
Publisher: CKCGlobalmedia
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2018