A wonderful, honest compilation of personal experiences for those who may need companionship during their fight with...




The author presents a frank collection of daily readings to serve as a companion guide to 12-step recovery programs.

Recovery is a long process, and one that requires careful thought, introspection and self-forgiveness. The book contains a year’s worth of daily readings aimed at easing that process. Entries are divided into three sections: “Wisdom for Today,” “Meditations for the Heart” and “Petitions for a Higher Power.” For example, midway through his chronicle, the author says, “Probably one of the biggest changes I have experienced in recovery has been achieving serenity and peace of mind. When I was drinking,…I lived in a state of fear. I suffered in quiet depression.” S. goes on to explore the same thematic idea as it relates to his so-called Higher Power in the next two sections of the daily reflections. S., a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor, remains open and exceptionally honest throughout his daily struggles with his twelve-step program, his evolving relationship to a higher power, and his personal relationships. Though the author states that the book may be used as a resource to assist in a better understanding of a twelve-step program, readers won’t find a step-by-step guide here. Rather, S. takes his reader on his own emotional journey and reveals the tenets and effects of the program as they affected him. S. tells his reader upfront that if his words sound spiritual it’s because they are, and that he urges all to “keep an open mind” to find their own “Great Contractor.” Indeed, the focus of his own journey is very much centered in spirituality and a relationship with God. Still, even those not interested in a higher power may find this a worthy guide for battling addiction. The collection may also be useful for those supporting a loved one.

A wonderful, honest compilation of personal experiences for those who may need companionship during their fight with addiction.  

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2009

ISBN: 978-1438923857

Page Count: 404

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2012

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A cleareyed, concise look at current and future affairs offering pertinent points to reflect and debate.

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The CNN host and bestselling author delivers a pithy roundup of some of the inevitable global changes that will follow the current pandemic.

Examining issues both obvious and subtler, Zakaria sets out how and why the world has changed forever. The speed with which the Covid-19 virus spread around the world was shocking, and the fallout has been staggering. In fact, writes the author, “it may well turn out that this viral speck will cause the greatest economic, political, and social damage to humankind since World War II.” The U.S., in particular, was exposed as woefully unprepared, as government leadership failed to deliver a clear, practical message, and the nation’s vaunted medical institutions were caught flat-footed: "Before the pandemic…Americans might have taken solace in the country’s great research facilities or the huge amounts of money spent on health care, while forgetting about the waste, complexity and deeply unequal access that mark it as well." While American leaders wasted months denying the seriousness of Covid-19 and ignoring the advice of medical experts, other countries—e.g., South Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan—acted swiftly and decisively, underscoring one of the author's main themes and second lesson: "What matters is not the quantity of government but the quality.” Discussing how “markets are not enough,” the author astutely shoots down the myth that throwing money at the problem can fix the situation; as such, he predicts a swing toward more socialist-friendly policies. Zakaria also delves into the significance of the digital economy, the resilience of cities (see the success of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taipei in suppressing the virus), the deepening of economic inequality around the world, how the pandemic has exacerbated the rift between China and the U.S. (and will continue to do so), and why “people should listen to the experts—and experts should listen to the people."

A cleareyed, concise look at current and future affairs offering pertinent points to reflect and debate.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-393-54213-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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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 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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