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This entertaining, spirited work promotes self-improvement in a highly amusing and quirky way.

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A picture book aimed at adults offers advice on emotional health.

Life provides its share of hardships and frustrations. Some people respond to all the pressure by bottling up their emotions. But Corchin recommends that readers unleash whatever emotions they are feeling. If it’s rage, he suggests flipping a table or blowing up and popping balloons. For those who feel depressed or unhappy, it’s OK to cry and belt out sad songs or spend an entire day binging on melancholy movies. While the author, who’s previously written children’s books on similar topics, goes for laughs, this is a bona-fide self-help manual. So much of what he urges readers to do are healthy coping mechanisms that harm no one. He doesn’t simply deliver advice on how to react, but recommends possible ways to avoid stress or things that cause anxiety. For example, Corchin tells readers to ignore social media influencers; many of those seemingly perfect people who are always posting online are anything but. The author moreover advocates the potential benefits of therapy as well as medications that a physician might prescribe. As this is a picture book, messages are also relayed through Dougherty’s artwork. The characters are depicted subverting or overcoming negativity by exercising at the gym, gleefully devouring a whole cake, and hugging a pillow, a cat, or one another.

Corchin’s words and Dougherty’s illustrations complement each other throughout this rib-tickling work. The author, for instance, proposes dealing with anger by flipping off a squirrel—and there’s a cute gray one clearly startled to see a man do just that. The breezy prose gives the impression of tough love, primarily through the author dropping expletives with reckless abandon. But the advice is more obliging than pushy—and often zany: “You want to try therapy? Yes! Fucking do it. Everybody’s doing it.” Dougherty’s multihued art is impeccable, teeming with bold lines, sharp colors, and rich character and background details. Facial expressions are especially effective, as it’s easy to distinguish between such temperaments as anger, sorrow, and even boredom. But he truly excels at lighting effects, from a TV or a cellphone emitting a calming bluish tone to sunlight painting a living room with giant windows a beautiful amber. The lighting also helps establish characters’ moods. Some individuals scouring their personal laptops for new jobs (per Corchin’s recommendation) look peaceful, with their computer screens brightening their faces as they sit in a strip club filled with muted shades. The players prove as colorful as the backdrops; the diverse cast features different races, gender identifications, and body shapes. The engaging story shows how people from around the world and all walks of life endure similar problems and may need a helping hand. Or, if the situation calls for it, an upraised middle finger.

This entertaining, spirited work promotes self-improvement in a highly amusing and quirky way.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023


Page Count: 54

Publisher: phazelFOZ Company, LLC

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2023

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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