An engaging vision of the enduring nature of the human soul.



Spiritual counselor Rippy’s book offers accounts of the afterlife and assert the presence of unseen miracles in our midst.

Much of this book is made up of transcripts of nine past-life regressions in which Rippy says he helped people explore aspects of their previous existences. For each, he includes historical and relationship context and information about the causes of death of his subjects’ past lives. Stories include the life of Liza, a nanny in early-20th-century Boston who died of an allergic reaction to penicillin—in the company of a man that she only ever knew as a ghost. In another account, Rippy tells of a young woman who experienced a past-life regression to an orphaned boy named Elliot, who lived in 1910 and whose twin brother, Peter, was reincarnated as the young woman’s father. In a particularly compelling story, he describes a female subject who recalls serving as Lt. Hertzof, a member of a Nazi battalion that captured Brussels in World War II. Killed when his tank blows up, Hertzof then experiences hell for 1,000 years before God forgives him. Most of the stories of past lives end tragically in suicide, murder, or alcoholism, but their accounts of the afterlife may bring solace to some readers. Intriguingly, Rippy’s work doesn’t offer one consistent view of heaven, instead showcasing different versions that include spirit guides and councils, farms, spiritual “hospitals,” and other ways in which souls prepare for rebirth. This compelling book not only tells of hypnotic regressions conducted by the author, it also provides informative asides outlining how he helped clients focus during unfamiliar or startling experiences. He also informatively describes the steps that he says he uses to catch potential fabrications. In addition, readers learn of his techniques for keeping subjects from becoming retraumatized by past-life events and how he uses protective prayers and imagery to bring comfort to those entering hypnotic states.

An engaging vision of the enduring nature of the human soul.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-15064-1

Page Count: 422

Publisher: Vision Peak Resources LLC

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2020

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A powerful melding of image and text inspired by Instagram yet original in its execution.


Smith returns with a photo-heavy book of days, celebrating births, deaths, and the quotidian, all anchored by her distinctive style.

In 2018, the musician and National Book Award–winning author began posting on Instagram, and the account quickly took off. Inspired by the captioned photo format, this book provides an image for every day of the year and descriptions that are by turns intimate, humorous, and insightful, and each bit of text adds human depth to the image. Smith, who writes and takes pictures every day, is clearly comfortable with the social media platform—which “has served as a way to share old and new discoveries, celebrate birthdays, remember the departed, and salute our youth”—and the material translates well to the page. The book, which is both visually impactful and lyrically moving, uses Instagram as a point of departure, but it goes well beyond to plumb Smith’s extensive archives. The deeply personal collection of photos includes old Polaroid images, recent cellphone snapshots, and much-thumbed film prints, spanning across decades to bring readers from the counterculture movement of the 1960s to the present. Many pages are taken up with the graves and birthdays of writers and artists, many of whom the author knew personally. We also meet her cat, “Cairo, my Abyssinian. A sweet little thing the color of the pyramids, with a loyal and peaceful disposition.” Part calendar, part memoir, and part cultural record, the book serves as a rich exploration of the author’s fascinating mind. “Offered in gratitude, as a place to be heartened, even in the basest of times,” it reminds us that “each day is precious, for we are yet breathing, moved by the way light falls on a high branch, or a morning worktable, or the sculpted headstone of a beloved poet.”

A powerful melding of image and text inspired by Instagram yet original in its execution.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-44854-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 6, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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Strictly for dittoheads.


An unabashed celebration of the late talking head.

Rush Limbaugh (1951-2021) insisted that he had a direct line to God, who blessed him with brilliance unseen since the time of the Messiah. In his tribute, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls him “the greatest broadcaster that [sic] ever lived.” That’s an accidental anointment, given checkered beginnings. Limbaugh himself records that, after earning a failing grade for not properly outlining a speech, he dropped out of college—doubtless the cause of his scorn for higher education. This book is a constant gush of cult-of-personality praise, with tributes from Ben Carson, Mike Pence, Donald Trump, and others. One radio caller called Limbaugh “practically perfect” and a latter-day George Washington by virtue of “the magnetism and the trust and the belief of all the people.” Limbaugh insists that conservatives are all about love, though he filled the airwaves with bitter, divisive invective about the evils of liberals, as with this tidbit: “to liberals, the Bill of Rights is horrible, the Bill of Rights grants citizens freedom….The Bill of Rights limits the federal government, and that’s negative to a socialist like Obama.” Moreover, “to Democrats, America’s heartland is ‘flyover’ country. They don’t know, or like, the Americans who live there, or their values.” Worse still for a money machine like Limbaugh, who flew over that heartland in a private jet while smoking fat cigars, liberals like Obama are “trying to socialize profit so that [they] can claim it”—anathema to wealthy Republicans, who prefer to socialize risk by way of bailouts while keeping the profits for themselves. Limbaugh fans will certainly eat this up, though a segment of the Republican caucus in Congress (Marjorie Taylor Greene et al.) might want to read past Limbaugh’s repeated insistence that “peace can’t be achieved by ‘developing an understanding’ with the Russian people.”

Strictly for dittoheads.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2022

ISBN: 9781668001844

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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