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THE PRINCIPLE OF 18

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF EVERY STAGE OF YOUR LIFE

Genuinely thought-provoking strategies for the various stages of life.

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A life guide organized around five major stages.

Danon, a Columbia University Certified Life Coach and founder of a successful consulting company, puts forward a new vision for personal development, one that flies in the face of many rise-and-grind business motivation books by drawing a broader, longer map of what constitutes success. Danon makes no small claims about his system, which he says will “minimize your regrets, decrease your worries, and enable you to lead a joyous, meaningful life.” Whether this is warranted or not, Danon’s outline is intriguingly blocked off into five 18-year segments—“The Dreamer,” “The Explorer,” “The Builder,” “The Mentor,” and “The Giver”—each of which has its own restrictions, priorities, and joys. But Danon stresses that the positives of his system hold true at every stage. “One of the key benefits of allowing yourself to explore your options for 18 years is that it will minimize your regrets—and the fewer regrets, the better, since you never know what life may throw at you,” he writes. “If you wait around for something important to happen to you, you may never get to do it.” In keeping with Danon’s long experience as a coach and motivator, his prose is bright and compulsively readable. And the main strength of his approach is that it far more closely conforms to everyday lived experience than most of the more hustle-oriented volumes of this kind. He reiterates that learning takes time, and opportunities flow as much from chance and experience as from blue ocean strategy (creating new demand rather than battling for market share). Danon is at his most interesting when he’s leaning into this individualistic bent, declaring business-world heresies like: “There is no need to try to make serious money before you turn 36.” This is a skillful rearrangement of the paradigm.

Genuinely thought-provoking strategies for the various stages of life.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-73629-944-9

Page Count: 174

Publisher: Blue Branch Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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CALL ME ANNE

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

The late actor offers a gentle guide for living with more purpose, love, and joy.

Mixing poetry, prescriptive challenges, and elements of memoir, Heche (1969-2022) delivers a narrative that is more encouraging workbook than life story. The author wants to share what she has discovered over the course of a life filled with abuse, advocacy, and uncanny turning points. Her greatest discovery? Love. “Open yourself up to love and transform kindness from a feeling you extend to those around you to actions that you perform for them,” she writes. “Only by caring can we open ourselves up to the universe, and only by opening up to the universe can we fully experience all the wonders that it holds, the greatest of which is love.” Throughout the occasionally overwrought text, Heche is heavy on the concept of care. She wants us to experience joy as she does, and she provides a road map for how to get there. Instead of slinking away from Hollywood and the ridicule that she endured there, Heche found the good and hung on, with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford starring as particularly shining knights in her story. Some readers may dismiss this material as vapid Hollywood stuff, but Heche’s perspective is an empathetic blend of Buddhism (minimize suffering), dialectical behavioral therapy (tolerating distress), Christianity (do unto others), and pre-Socratic philosophy (sufficient reason). “You’re not out to change the whole world, but to increase the levels of love and kindness in the world, drop by drop,” she writes. “Over time, these actions wear away the coldness, hate, and indifference around us as surely as water slowly wearing away stone.” Readers grieving her loss will take solace knowing that she lived her love-filled life on her own terms. Heche’s business and podcast partner, Heather Duffy, writes the epilogue, closing the book on a life well lived.

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781627783316

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viva Editions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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