A smart, eminently readable Buddhist guide to achieving an inner awakening, an inward victory that “looks like surrender.”




A manual offers advice on anxiety-free living, filtered through a Buddhist perspective.

Drawing broadly on classical Buddhist tenets, the latest book from Hunter (You Are Buddha, 2014) seeks to encourage readers to breathe deeply and take stock of their lives. It does this by distilling traditional Tibetan Buddhist thinking into four “reminders”: first, that every person is a “spark of divine consciousness”; second, that an individual is mortal and will soon die; third, that humans are the architects of their own realities; and fourth, that a sense of fulfillment ultimately comes only from within. In underscoring these reminders by advocating that his readers empty their minds of negative emotions, Hunter is completely unhindered by the fact that one of his dictums is controversial (are people really the sparks of some larger “divine consciousness”?) and another is wrong (humans are not the architects of their own realities; huge amounts are determined by elements entirely outside of their control). He concentrates his eloquence and enthusiasm throughout this book—which is engaging and knowledgeable enough to serve as a general introduction to the modern Western versions of Tibetan Buddhism—on two of his four reminders: the belief that all people are mortal and that their attitudes toward the world are largely their own to forge. “The human body needs constant protection and support in order to avoid being snuffed out by a hostile world,” Hunter writes. But the human mind is shaped internally as well, and those factors can be vital in determining the course of a life. “The reason karma is so infallible,” Hunter insightfully reminds his readers, “is because there’s no way to escape or hide from your own mind.” Rather, a healthy emphasis should be placed on improving karma by enhancing the mind, and this lucid book is full of hard-won and well-phrased pointers on how even the most stressed-out readers can start to bring that about in their own lives.

A smart, eminently readable Buddhist guide to achieving an inner awakening, an inward victory that “looks like surrender.” 

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

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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

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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