An inspiring and educational read for open-minded success seekers.

TWO RIVERS OF THE MIND

A SIMPLE AND FUN GUIDE TO YOUR DESIRES IN LIFE

A leadership trainer and life coach offers a distinctive perspective on making choices.

In his debut book, Bourg examines what he perceives as “the two rivers of our minds.” It’s not as esoteric as it may sound. The author teaches readers how to choose a life of happiness and abundance over one ruled by detrimental “fears, acts,” and “beliefs.” He creates a fictional character, Captain Bon, who guides the audience on an adventurous journey to self-discovery. “Self” is the key word here. While the tale is ostensibly about Bon, a tugboat captain, the author invites readers to craft starring roles in their own stories. Bon dispenses his knowledge on a wide array of topics that can either help or hinder happiness and growth, among them: procrastination; habit forming and breaking; decision-making; imagination; strategic thinking; visualization; persistence; determination; and self-confidence. Bourg’s message emerges as Bon pursues his dream of traveling to Mount La Felicidad. His challenges and decisions along the way are drawn from some carefully curated life experiences of the author and others. Some of the book’s most instructive moments come when Bourg actively steps into the tale and speaks directly to readers rather than using his alter ego to illustrate his principles. Some may find that Bon (which means “good” in French) and La Felicidad (“happiness” in Spanish) make the concepts lighter and easier to digest; others may consider the literary device distracting or gimmicky. Regardless, the book provides valuable insights, such as the author’s 10 success principles and 10 success pitfalls. In addition, Bon’s seven truths about life include looking at existence through the uncorrupted eyes of a child. Lessons learned from Bon’s battle against his lifelong foil, Señor Doubter, are stirring. Bourg devotes a full chapter to Bon’s strategic choice: figuratively dividing himself into three entities (designer, engineer, and CEO), each with his own role in promoting success. The author half-jokingly acknowledges that the concept may cause some to question Bon’s sanity. But Bourg suggests that many accomplished people already live “their lives this way” even though they may be unaware of it.

An inspiring and educational read for open-minded success seekers.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5320-7042-6

Page Count: 270

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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

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GREENLIGHTS

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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