A frank, funny self-help book perfect for those who view the genre with a healthy bit of skepticism.

YOU-NICORN

A 30-DAY WORKBOOK TO FIND YOUR INNER UNICORN AND START LIVING THE LIFE YOU LOVE

A guide promises to help readers get out of ruts and start living more authentic, fulfilling lives.

At age 35, Vincent (You-Nicorn Journal, 2018, etc.) looked like she had made it, at least professionally. She had a six-figure job at the Oprah Winfrey Network, but her work didn’t excite her, and her personal and inner lives were the “equivalent of a stagnant pond.” So she embarked on an intense journey of self-discovery and self-help and was able to turn her life from ho-hum into something far more satisfying. Now, in her manual, she offers a crash course for others who are looking to change their lives but aren’t sure how or where to begin. Vincent freely (and refreshingly) acknowledges that many, including herself, are skeptical about self-help mumbo-jumbo and openly declares that “this book is for cynics.” But she nonetheless urges readers to give her monthlong program a try, tackling a single chapter and its accompanying action steps per day. Each short, easy-to-digest section focuses on a different challenge or roadblock, such as success, mental health, friendships, forgiveness, and meditation, and the daily steps are meaningful but not so ambitious as to be overwhelming. Rather than demanding that readers transform their lives overnight, the author suggests low-commitment but still impactful activities like writing down a situation they’d like to alter and brainstorming solutions or putting together a list of daily affirmations. The result is a sort of “Whole30” diet for life, a plan meant to jump-start readers on the path to wellness. The author’s own experiences deeply inform her spirited, offbeat work, which gives the advice an idiosyncratic feel—she delves into managing road rage, discusses “esoteric magic items” like talismans and “bath spells,” and explains how Dreiser’s Sister Carrie inspired her attitude about work. It’s a bit of a wild ride at times, but her sheer enthusiasm, combined with her quirky, conversational style and the volume’s charming, uncredited illustrations, makes this an enjoyable and often thought-provoking read.

A frank, funny self-help book perfect for those who view the genre with a healthy bit of skepticism.

Pub Date: April 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9994392-5-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: HEA Publisher, LLC

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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