MANAGING MS

A ROADMAP TO NAVIGATE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

A bravely told and brutally honest self-help work.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A candid guide for people living with multiple sclerosis.

In 1980, at the age of 25, Petrina began showing symptoms of MS, but it wasn’t until four years later that she was officially diagnosed and decided to become an advocate for others with the disease. This second edition of her book, first published in 2011, offers fresh perspectives provided by an additional, harrowing decade of experience with MS. Petrina’s own story is a key focus, of course, but her main objective is to offer guidance and hope to others. Her background, which she discusses in Part I, tells of her experiences as a National Multiple Sclerosis Society peer counselor and MS blogger (some of her blog posts appear in the back of the book). The second part provides a helpful overview of MS symptoms and treatments as well as other basic information. In Part III, Petrina lays out unvarnished truths about the effects of the disease on the body and the brain; here, with great candor, she explores such topics as the digestive system, sexual dysfunction, spasticity, and what she calls “The Elephants in the Room”: mental and behavioral health, substance abuse, addiction, and suicide. Petrina’s description of her pregnancy and subsequent MS flare-up is particularly poignant. Part IV includes helpful guidance regarding employment, long-term disability, and relationships with other people in addition to an uplifting section titled “Positives to Having MS,” which notes, for example, that “You take nothing for granted.” Petrina writes with a relentless optimism, but she’s unafraid to reveal the toll that the disease has taken on herself and her family. The author’s truth-telling makes her advice all the more affecting. These words from the book’s opening chapter are sure to linger: “I didn’t have a choice about getting [MS], but I did have a choice about whether I was going to let it control me or manage my life.”

A bravely told and brutally honest self-help work.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1662917943

Page Count: 202

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

MAGIC WORDS

WHAT TO SAY TO GET YOUR WAY

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.

By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063204935

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 25


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 25


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Close Quickview