A candid memoir that reminds readers of the role attitude plays in success.

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IT'S MY WORLD TOO

ACCEPTING CHALLENGES, EMBRACING LIFE

An inspiring tale of one man’s triumph over his challenges.

Page is a “blind man who refused to accept a passive role” in his life, a theme of resilience that runs through this compelling memoir. Page details not only his own challenges as a man born without sight, but also the surrounding adversities that his family members fought and overcame, setting a backdrop of expectation for him to do the same. Page’s particular form of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, runs throughout his family, affecting his mother and cousins, but it afflicts him most severely as he has never known what it is to see. However, Page grew up with the understanding that the world was his to conquer despite whatever limitations he might have. Born on a farm in Missouri, every member of the family was expected to pitch in. From an early age, Page was expected to draw water from the well and carry it to the chickens, something he had to do several times a day. As he grew older, Page was involved in repair work and tree cutting, activities that most people would not ask of a blind child. Page’s sense of being just like everyone else was reinforced when representatives from the Missouri School for the Blind recruited Page for their school and his parents refused, reinforcing the viewpoint that Page was entitled to the same life as everyone else. This attitude continued to shape Page as he became an adult, going on to earn a doctorate and serving on the legislature of his town, advocating for the disabled. Throughout Page’s life, it is he who must remind everyone around him of his capability—something he never forgets and continues to prove with every milestone he achieves. Richly woven with anecdotes and honesty, Page’s story is humbling as he achieves more in his life than many who have the ability to see. Because of Page’s determination, no obstacle is big enough to stop him from succeeding, and his story is an important one to read.

A candid memoir that reminds readers of the role attitude plays in success.

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1458214195

Page Count: 198

Publisher: AbbottPress

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

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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

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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