A relentlessly positive and often convoluted message that will appeal mostly to Chopra’s core audience.

METAHUMAN

UNLEASHING YOUR INFINITE POTENTIAL

A heady prescription for maximum self-awareness.

Bestselling author and alternative medicine advocate Chopra (What Are You Hungry For?, 2013, etc.) continues his enlightenment crusade with a narrative encouraging readers to reach “beyond the mechanical side of life” and the limitations of their lives in order to “occupy metareality.” The author believes metareality to be the source of all creativity; to become awakened to it and move “beyond the illusion” of everyday perception is to become metahuman, which he equates to “tuning in to the whole radio band instead of one narrow channel.” Fans of Chopra’s spiritual enlightenment philosophies will digest these new dictums easily; others will find it difficult to sift through the great amount of referential supporting material. The text is a stew packed with discussions of neuroscience concepts, mystical Indian poetry, ego examination, psychedelic drug therapy, and discussions of how the “inflated promises” of religion “have lost their power to inspire devotion.” Chopra’s research and dedication to this mind-expanding field are impressive, but the resulting narrative is dizzying and frequently overwhelming. The author incorporates multiple-choice questionnaires, wakefulness exercises, and surveys into the text, and he diminishes his message with frequent subject detours and digressive commentary—specifically, the daily plan at the end, “31 Metahuman Lessons,” which seems separate from the core narrative’s message. Readers who are willing to wade through the dross will find pages of helpful direction on how to focus attention on improving one’s sense of worth and purpose. As always, Chopra’s main focus and intention are self-improvement and untapped personal potential and the discovery of new ways to live beyond current self-imposed limitations. Here, readers are required to make more of an investment of time and thought on a life plan that puts a new spin on more conventional spiritual interpretations of consciousness and reality.

A relentlessly positive and often convoluted message that will appeal mostly to Chopra’s core audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-307-33833-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 22

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

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

Did you like this book?

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

more