While portions of this philosophical book deliver odd phrasings, the author’s message involving the questioning of authority...


Key to the Abyss

From the Guarded Hearts Journals series , Vol. 2

This second installment of a series examines symbols, means of control, and what it truly means to be human.

Book one in this philosophical series explored a number of Beyor’s (Guarded Hearts: Genesis Sabotage, 2016, etc.) “axioms” regarding artificially constructed symbols and their impact on natural humans. (One such axiom states that “our agreed symbols will take the biological creature to the knees of insanity.”) Book two further develops these themes and encourages action. Have humans been conditioned their entire lives to worship symbols and icons? Are their legal and religious systems merely constructs of control? What about the natural state of their minds? Addressing such sentiments in a series of chapters (referred to in the text as “Journals”) that range from the simply titled “Communication” to the sci-fi-sounding “The Omega Strain,” the book hashes out ideas in dense, impassioned prose. Exploring topics such as the true intentions of Jesus and the shortcomings of the educational system (“children are not being taught to think only to obey and blame”), the volume discusses many tangents, though the focus remains clear: the author’s questioning of authority and the symbols it endorses. Many statements such as “video monitor destruction and drone deaths are the new headgame war fought by the lethal watchers confederacy” and “the whole working brain interdicts the topical single sense domination as illogical” require close scrutiny. While the author’s authenticity is without question, details can be lost in such convoluted phrasings. With many lines aimed directly at the reader (for example, “You must learn to read between the lines, not on the lines. Our feelings are very real and they guide us”), the work is likely to generate critical thinking. Is it true, as the author argues, that “laws make people lazy” and slothful? Whether or not readers agree, such questions provide an opportunity to look more closely at what is taken for granted in the modern world. After all, getting past what “all the profit-driven institutions” want humans to believe “can be done, but it takes work and taking back personal will.” Even if the finer points of the author’s arguments can be murky, such a devoted conviction remains inspiring.

While portions of this philosophical book deliver odd phrasings, the author’s message involving the questioning of authority should kindle new ideas for open-minded readers.

Pub Date: June 2, 2016


Page Count: 317

Publisher: eBookIt.com

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2016

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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

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.


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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