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HOW TO RELATE TO ANYONE

Smart, succinct, and highly engaging.

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Solin offers a straightforward method for improving one’s business and personal relationships.

Nothing could be simpler than a three-letter, one-word title—and that fits the theme of this work by the New York Times bestselling author of The Smartest Sales Book You’ll Ever Read (2014) and other books in the same series. In his research into what make meetings effective, he found that the fundamental principle of “talking less while empowering the other person to talk more” was one of the keys to improving business interactions. This notion, along with a few other pearls of wisdom, is at the heart of this entertaining, easy-to-read work. Its first part intriguingly debunks a few commonly held beliefs about happiness and success; the author says, for example, that “there’s little scientific support for the notion that simply visualizing a goal makes it more likely you will achieve it.” This section also presents scientific research about brain chemistry and audience engagement, which lays the foundation for Part 2, which highlights the power of curiosity, explores the differences between an introvert and extrovert, and explains why sincerity is of critical importance. Part 3 delves deeply into the specifics of how to actively listen to others; it also lucidly explains why attempting to persuade others is often futile, as “each of us perceives the world through the prism of our biases.” Part 4 includes a compelling discussion of empathy and emotionality along with specific suggestions for how to be an agile listener, and Part 5 demonstrates useful ways to overcome negativity and turn conflict into collaboration. The final chapter cleverly employs frequently asked questions to identify readers’ potential concerns about applying Solin’s methodology. Overall, this book is well constructed and elegantly written in an informal style; the paragraphs are blissfully brief, and relevant examples abound. Although the material is consistently research-based, as evidenced by the extensive endnotes, it’s anything but dry, and Solin’s deceptively simple premise is solid.

Smart, succinct, and highly engaging.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9748763-2-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: BCH Fulfillment & Distribution

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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GREENLIGHTS

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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CALL ME ANNE

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

The late actor offers a gentle guide for living with more purpose, love, and joy.

Mixing poetry, prescriptive challenges, and elements of memoir, Heche (1969-2022) delivers a narrative that is more encouraging workbook than life story. The author wants to share what she has discovered over the course of a life filled with abuse, advocacy, and uncanny turning points. Her greatest discovery? Love. “Open yourself up to love and transform kindness from a feeling you extend to those around you to actions that you perform for them,” she writes. “Only by caring can we open ourselves up to the universe, and only by opening up to the universe can we fully experience all the wonders that it holds, the greatest of which is love.” Throughout the occasionally overwrought text, Heche is heavy on the concept of care. She wants us to experience joy as she does, and she provides a road map for how to get there. Instead of slinking away from Hollywood and the ridicule that she endured there, Heche found the good and hung on, with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford starring as particularly shining knights in her story. Some readers may dismiss this material as vapid Hollywood stuff, but Heche’s perspective is an empathetic blend of Buddhism (minimize suffering), dialectical behavioral therapy (tolerating distress), Christianity (do unto others), and pre-Socratic philosophy (sufficient reason). “You’re not out to change the whole world, but to increase the levels of love and kindness in the world, drop by drop,” she writes. “Over time, these actions wear away the coldness, hate, and indifference around us as surely as water slowly wearing away stone.” Readers grieving her loss will take solace knowing that she lived her love-filled life on her own terms. Heche’s business and podcast partner, Heather Duffy, writes the epilogue, closing the book on a life well lived.

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781627783316

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viva Editions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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