A well-researched, smartly written self-help book that encourages readers to achieve their ideal shape.

Think: Use Your Mind to Shrink Your Waistline


Meine (Ideal Shape for Life, 2012), a certified hypnotherapist specializing in weight loss, writes persuasively about helping dieters harness the power of their minds to change negative behaviors.

This self-help book includes stories of the author’s and his patients’ weight-loss struggles and explores the importance of the mind-body connection. “If the brain is not engaged in creating your ideal shape, ultimately any weight you lose will eventually come back—plus a few more pounds,” Meine writes. The way to optimize one’s brain, he posits, is through motivational hypnosis, either with a certified hypnotherapist or an audio program. Such an approach, he explains, “quiets” the conscious mind and allows the subconscious mind to more readily accept positive, healthy suggestions. Meine describes studies, quotes experts and cites statistics to convincingly support his method. For example, he details 10 negative behaviors that derail individuals from creating and sustaining their ideal weights: not getting a good night’s sleep, not drinking enough water, eating until (or after) one is full, self-sabotage or sabotage from others, not dealing with stress, not being able to visualize an ideal shape, eating too infrequently, eating quickly, eating and drinking too much sugar, and lacking the motivation to exercise. While many of these ideas have been explored in other diet books, the combination of all 10, with clear, well-supported explanations, sets this book apart. Meine not only defines each behavior, but also offers coping strategies to curb each one. The book includes a personal contract for readers who want to take the plunge, as well as charts, questionnaires and exercises; this interactive approach may inspire readers to better understand and take control of their lifestyles. The author suggests that a person can change a negative behavior in just 28 days, but “it’s critical to take them one at a time.” Meine has also developed an audio hypnosis program, “Brain Training for Effective Weight Loss,” for readers who can’t afford hypnotherapy, feel uncomfortable working with a hypnotherapist or want to augment one-on-one sessions.

A well-researched, smartly written self-help book that encourages readers to achieve their ideal shape.

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-1477288818

Page Count: 138

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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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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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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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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