A well-organized, thoughtful and thoroughly researched book that covers a wide array of emotional issues using universal...




Wolf writes a fascinating collection of chapters that transcends most self-help books, with research, tested ideas and logical explanations for human patterns we work to reverse continuously throughout life.

Rather than offering 12 steps or a system to rearrange one’s life, Wolf takes a more realistic and lifelong approach to the subject of avoiding “faceplants,” or patterns of self-defeat that readers all face throughout life. These faceplants are engrained behaviors or pathologies that keep us from moving forward toward success. They can come in the form of a lack of self-care due to an unbalanced devotion to others or a creation of dysfunction due to belligerently speaking one’s mind. While occasional faceplants continue throughout life, Wolf frames an educational guide that leads to awareness, not avoidance. One of the biggest defenses against faceplanting, for example, is self-security. Wolf explains that someone emotionally secure understands how to set boundaries and make informed decisions. By assessing what we want and who we are, we become intimate with ourselves and learn to create emotional safety. That safety, according to Wolf, is a key factor in diminishing patterns of repeated behavior that land us in undesirable situations. Perhaps what’s most unique about the concept is that it can be applied to so many aspects of life. Faceplanting happens in relationships, careers, child-raising, family dynamics and even personal health. Another recurring concept in the book is “inner chatter,” or the ideas or models we’ve become accustomed to hearing in our heads when certain events occur. For example, one faceplant might involve deflecting each time you hear a compliment, since internal chatter suggests that flattery creates vulnerability and ultimately weakness. Wolf explains clearly how to isolate these “inner chatters” and assess them based on how well they’ve assisted you so far. From interviews with anonymous patients about relationship patterns to anecdotes about nameless faceplanters who discovered the keys to seeing their repetitive missteps, Wolf uses a history of observation to offer steps toward awareness rather than prepackaged solutions. With such an array of testimonials and client observations, many (if not all) readers will recognize some behavioral pattern or faceplant of their own. With more than 30 years of experience in talk therapy and behavioral experiments, Wolf seems to effortlessly demonstrate that major life changes only need be a series of small changes, decisions and commitments to personal emotional health.

A well-organized, thoughtful and thoroughly researched book that covers a wide array of emotional issues using universal concepts.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-0988194502

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Personal BluePrint Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.



A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012


Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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