Simple, effective procedures that can be easily incorporated into even the busiest lifestyle.

THE GRATITUDE DIARIES

HOW A YEAR LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE TRANSFORMED MY LIFE

How a year of being thankful led to big changes in a woman’s life.

When editor and producer Kaplan (A Job to Kill For, 2008, etc.) made a New Year’s resolution to take a full year and show more appreciation in life, she didn’t realize what a difference that pledge would make. Since she had participated in a survey funded by the John Templeton Foundation on the idea of gratitude, she knew that “less than half the people surveyed said they expressed gratitude on any regular basis.” Determined to conduct her own experiment, she began by focusing on being more grateful to her husband, and she discovered little comments made a huge difference not only in her own attitude toward him, but life in general. She then extended her expressions of gratefulness to include her children, income, career, and health. Each week, she made a point of writing down the things, events, or people she was most appreciative of at that moment. Kaplan’s plan to be more grateful is approachable for anyone. Her conversational tone is encouraging, like talking to a good friend who’s having a great day and wants to share it with you. These days, instead of grumbling about the weather or other things that used to bother her, the author finds the humor and bright side of each moment. Having a positive attitude has been proven to change the neural pathways in the brain and rewire a person’s automatic responses. By practicing the art of gratitude, a person can make a subtle change in life, and the ripples can have far-reaching effects. “If we put good into the world,” writes the author, “maybe, just maybe, it starts to be returned.” There’s no harm in trying, especially when one reads how successfully it turned out for Kaplan.

Simple, effective procedures that can be easily incorporated into even the busiest lifestyle.

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-525-95506-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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