Smart, succinct, and highly engaging.

ASK

HOW TO RELATE TO ANYONE

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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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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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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