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MIND YOUR BUSINESS

6 KEY STRATEGIES GUARANTEED TO HELP YOU SPEAK AND LIVE YOUR TRUTH

A passionate and personal self-help work that aims to help people become the best versions of themselves.

A Christian-oriented guide to living and working with a greater sense of authenticity.

“Success,” clinical psychologist Guerra writes in her slim nonfiction debut, “is being intentional in your actions, honoring your greatness, and being yourself!” The author is the youngest of four children who later became a single mother of two, and she spends the opening part of her book telling her readers about her upbringing and how it shaped her (“challenging the status quo became second nature to me”). She narrates her time in school and her choice of therapy as a career path, working hard and playing hard: “I was at the top of my game,” she writes. “I had figured out the rules of this game called life, and I was doing well.” She also movingly relates the collapse of her marriage and the doubts it engendered. Her chosen life’s work had been about “helping people be honest with themselves and move in the direction of living in their truths,” and yet she says that she’d found herself far removed from her own truth. Guerra returns to this concept repeatedly throughout her book, effectively sharpening it into six “key strategies,” designed to help readers home in on the task: “Always honor your truth and your experiences,” she writes. “But remember that your truth and perceptions can change and evolve as you do.” Over the course of this book, Guerra’s prose is consistently direct and highly personable, and she alludes to her Christian faith as a balancing force in her life and her truth journey. Even so, she seldom addresses how, when speaking one’s “personal truth,” one can avoid it becoming a simple expression of egotism, which readers might have found useful. However, her advocacy of honesty and intentionality will hopefully inspire her readers.

A passionate and personal self-help work that aims to help people become the best versions of themselves.

Pub Date: June 15, 2022

ISBN: 9781667829227

Page Count: 96

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2022

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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