Enthusiastic, embracing guide to self-actualization.

Life Is Great, Even When It Sucks

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE DO THE THINGS THEY DO

A dairy farmer–turned–certified coach discusses how to realize your unique potential in this debut self-help guide.

Nyland, with her husband, owned and operated a dairy farm for more than 28 years, and they lived first in the Netherlands, now in Canada. She tees up her particular experience by noting that she has “lived with four generations on one farm” and that “Nothing fascinates me more than human interaction.” Now also a certified coach, having completed the “Co-Active” leadership program offered by California-based Coaches Training Institute, Nyland asserts that “we all are magnificent,” each with a special “toolbox/I am status,” yet “most of us don’t even know we have this great toolbox, let alone know that we need to cultivate it to experience a great life.” She believes that blockage occurs due to insecurities that arise from what she calls the five-point system “We have all been taught” via family, society, and media: “how to trust, how to handle conflict, how to be accountable, how to be committed, and what the results of these things are.” Nyland spends most of her book exploring these themes and offering several suggestions to help readers get a better picture of who they really are and what they really want in life. For instance, she says, journal and take her brief survey to assess your current views related to her five-point system. Nyland offers simple yet effective and thought-provoking tools to develop a cleareyed and affirmative approach to life. Her guide can get a bit off course, however, with too much discussion of autobiographical detail, including an odd aside about “stray voltage” causing problems on her farm. Still, Nyland generally presents a positive, uplifting tone in an encouraging guide. “You see, we all encounter difficult challenges in life, and yes, that sucks,” she says. “The thing is, though, with all those challenges we have the opportunity to cultivate and strengthen our toolbox, and how cool is that?”

Enthusiastic, embracing guide to self-actualization.

Pub Date: April 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1503552678

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2015

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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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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

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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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