Fans of Eckhart Tolle, Pia Mellody and Deepak Chopra will enjoy this unique and powerful book.

THIS WAY OUT

THE POWER TO CHANGE

Psychotherapist and life coach Light explores psychology and spirituality in her debut self-help title, offering a new model for personal change.

Light’s profound book offers a clear program for personal growth that is both well-researched and well-explained. Demonstrating expertise in a program she has practiced for more than 30 years, Light promotes Personality Integration Theory and Therapy as a unique blend of psychology and spirituality that can lead to empowerment and awareness. She suggests that this psychological approach is more successful than models based on pathology, reasoning that many issues can be attributed to a lack of maturity rather than mental illness. Light challenges many of Freud’s notions and builds on others, clearly explaining how Personality Integration empowers patients to acquire self-knowledge, embrace adult behaviors and integrate the parts of the self that remain fragmented or unconscious. In her explanation of the theory and therapy, Light explains how her program is both similar to and different from other self-help approaches, including the 12-step programs: Hers begins with the development of a healthy inner relationship—“the first relationship”—and discusses how to move through the stages of survival to end up in a state of thriving. Modern self-help readers will find a satisfying balance of existing and revolutionary concepts. For those who wish to begin exploring this therapy, Light offers workbook-style exercises and quizzes. Readers shouldn’t let the trippy cover fool them into thinking this book is ungrounded—this title is a well-substantiated, fascinating breakthrough in therapy and transformation. Light’s marriage of psychology and spirituality is sure to satisfy modern seekers of self-enhancement.

Fans of Eckhart Tolle, Pia Mellody and Deepak Chopra will enjoy this unique and powerful book.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-1426926273

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Trafford

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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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

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Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better...

EVERYTHING IS F*CKED

A BOOK ABOUT HOPE

The popular blogger and author delivers an entertaining and thought-provoking third book about the importance of being hopeful in terrible times.

“We are a culture and a people in need of hope,” writes Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, 2016, etc.). With an appealing combination of gritty humor and straightforward prose, the author floats the idea of drawing strength and hope from a myriad of sources in order to tolerate the “incomprehensibility of your existence.” He broadens and illuminates his concepts through a series of hypothetical scenarios based in contemporary reality. At the dark heart of Manson’s guide is the “Uncomfortable Truth,” which reiterates our cosmic insignificance and the inevitability of death, whether we blindly ignore or blissfully embrace it. The author establishes this harsh sentiment early on, creating a firm foundation for examining the current crisis of hope, how we got here, and what it means on a larger scale. Manson’s referential text probes the heroism of Auschwitz infiltrator Witold Pilecki and the work of Isaac Newton, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Immanuel Kant, as the author explores the mechanics of how hope is created and maintained through self-control and community. Though Manson takes many serpentine intellectual detours, his dark-humored wit and blunt prose are both informative and engaging. He is at his most convincing in his discussions about the fallibility of religious beliefs, the modern world’s numerous shortcomings, deliberations over the “Feeling Brain” versus the “Thinking Brain,” and the importance of striking a happy medium between overindulging in and repressing emotions. Although we live in a “couch-potato-pundit era of tweetstorms and outrage porn,” writes Manson, hope springs eternal through the magic salves of self-awareness, rational thinking, and even pain, which is “at the heart of all emotion.”

Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better world alive.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288843-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2019

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