A thoughtful, holistic approach to improving one’s swing.



In this debut guide, former insurance agent Brown teaches readers to rely on feel and instinct to improve their golf games.

Every golfer could do with a few pointers, and in this book, the author provides a fairly simple one: Get out of your own way. Many golfers employ methods that run counter to their intuition, he says, leading to blown shots and missed putts. “The only instruction in this book,” he writes in his preface, “involves establishing the foundations of an effective grip and posture,” because poor ones “work in opposition to the golfer’s natural instincts.” Brown underwent brain surgery and radiation treatment at age 12, which resulted in him having to overcome physical limitations, such as decreased energy and compromised vision and hearing. His advice here is rooted in this experience, and he advocates for turning off one’s conscious mind and allowing the subconscious to take control while golfing. By tapping into this “kinesthetic intelligence,” he says, a golfer can “feel” his way through every aspect of the game, from driving to putting. Mixing discussions of mindfulness and visualization with practical instructions on how to hold and swing a club (complete with detailed illustrations by Hillman), Brown walks readers through the required steps to gain a more intimate connection with the sport. The book is a quick read at just over 100 pages, which include 40 exercises meant to help awaken a golfer’s instincts. Brown has a simple, direct prose style that makes it easy for the reader to follow: “Placement of the hands on the golf grip is the nerve center of the swing. The hands transmit sensations and information to and from the body/mind.” Although the author’s take may seem a little radical for the fairly conservative culture of golf, he presents it in a way that will make sense to readers. Brown isn’t saying that golfers should throw out conventional instructions. Rather, he offers an additional element to golf practice—one that ensures the golfer is fully aware of his or her body and motion. His rather Zenlike method should appeal to those who approach the game looking for relaxation.

A thoughtful, holistic approach to improving one’s swing.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9987719-0-8

Page Count: 115

Publisher: Keep It Simple Golf Media

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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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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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. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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These platitudes need perspective; better to buy the books they came from.


A lightweight collection of self-help snippets from the bestselling author.

What makes a quote a quote? Does it have to be quoted by someone other than the original author? Apparently not, if we take Strayed’s collection of truisms as an example. The well-known memoirist (Wild), novelist (Torch), and radio-show host (“Dear Sugar”) pulls lines from her previous pages and delivers them one at a time in this small, gift-sized book. No excerpt exceeds one page in length, and some are only one line long. Strayed doesn’t reference the books she’s drawing from, so the quotes stand without context and are strung together without apparent attention to structure or narrative flow. Thus, we move back and forth from first-person tales from the Pacific Crest Trail to conversational tidbits to meditations on grief. Some are astoundingly simple, such as Strayed’s declaration that “Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard.” Others call on the author’s unique observations—people who regret what they haven’t done, she writes, end up “mingy, addled, shrink-wrapped versions” of themselves—and offer a reward for wading through obvious advice like “Trust your gut.” Other quotes sound familiar—not necessarily because you’ve read Strayed’s other work, but likely due to the influence of other authors on her writing. When she writes about blooming into your own authenticity, for instance, one is immediately reminded of Anaïs Nin: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Strayed’s true blossoming happens in her longer works; while this collection might brighten someone’s day—and is sure to sell plenty of copies during the holidays—it’s no substitute for the real thing.

These platitudes need perspective; better to buy the books they came from.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-946909

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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