LIFE IS A CHOICE

A GUIDE TO SUCCESS IN LIFE

Advice for succeeding in life, packaged in an easily digestible format.

It seems the most compelling stories of personal success are told by those who rise above major challenges in their lives and succeed against all odds. In this respect, Washington’s book follows a proven formula; the author overcame childhood demons that suggested that he wouldn’t amount to anything after he learned early on to have faith in God and himself. Washington went on to earn a PhD and become an award-winning college professor. It is this background that drives Washington’s philosophy of life, and he expertly lays it out in a little book that is both highly inspirational and inclusive of specific “lessons” from a man whose passion is teaching. Washington covers familiar ground, addressing such topics as fear, procrastination, passion, attitude, hard work and planning. But he goes beyond the typical “here’s how to succeed” manual by offering memorable, meaningful adages, including “Use Your Past, Not Abuse Your Past,” “If You Stay Ready, You Don’t Have to Get Ready” and “Trouble is Easy to Get Into, But Hard to Get Out Of” (the last one was taught to him by his mother). The author organizes the book into short, focused, simply written chapters, each of which is followed by a relevant lesson. Chapter 11, for example, concerns “You and Your Associations.” Here Washington makes the perceptive point, “If you spend your time with people who are not going anywhere, how long will it be before you assume their perspectives and thoughts as your own?...When you associate with people who are positive and trying to achieve something in life, your stock goes up.” He follows this with “Developing Relationships,” a lesson that includes six specific tips to help develop and manage relationships. Washington hits all the high points and, in so doing, packs a remarkable amount of solid guidance, seasoned with personal experience, into less than 160 pages. A well-written, inspirational, uplifting book with spiritual overtones that should spur readers to achieve better things in life.

 

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615552200

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Washington & Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Cheerfully engaging.

WHAT ALICE FORGOT

From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.

Alice wakes from what she thinks is a dream, assuming she is a recently married 29-year-old expecting her first child. Actually she is 39, the mother of three and in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband Nick. She’s fallen off her exercise bike, and the resulting bump on her head has not only erased her memory of the last 10 years but has also taken her psychologically back to a younger, more easygoing self at odds with the woman she gathers she has become. While Alice-at-29 is loving and playful if lacking ambition or self-confidence, Alice-at-39 is a highly efficient if too tightly wound supermom. She is also thin and rich since Nick now heads the company where she remembers him struggling in an entry-level position. Alice-at-29 cannot conceive that she and Nick would no longer be rapturously in love or that she and her adored older sister Elisabeth could be estranged, and she is shocked that her shy mother has married Nick’s bumptious father and taken up salsa dancing. She neither remembers nor recognizes her three children, each given a distinct if slightly too cute personality. Nor does she know what to make of the perfectly nice boyfriend Alice-at-39 has acquired. As memory gradually returns, Alice-at-29 initially misinterprets the scattered images and flashes of emotion, especially those concerning Gina, a woman who evidently caused the rift with Nick. Alice-at-29 assumes Gina was Nick’s mistress, only to discover that Gina was her best friend. Gina died in a freak car accident and in her honor, Alice-at-39 has organized mothers from the kids’ school to bake the largest lemon meringue pie on record. But Alice-at-29 senses that Gina may not have been a completely positive influence. Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth’s diary.

Cheerfully engaging.

Pub Date: June 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15718-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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