A compassionate and energizing guide full of confidence-building ideas.

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In this self-help guide for women, an executive coach shares her strategies for building and maintaining confidence.

If anyone’s confidence should have been shattered, it was that of McGuinness (Terminal Ambition, 2012): She was terminated from her position as general counsel of a large company, had a near-fatal accident, got divorced, and was forced to sell her ranch at a loss. To regain her confidence, she writes, “I had to build new neural networks.…I needed to become mindful of my self-criticism and perfectionism and have compassion for myself.” In a book that is both inspirational and practical, McGuinness provides a playbook of the techniques she employed to rebuild her lost confidence. The book’s first section squarely addresses the intriguing reasons why she believes many women are less confident than men, including that “women have more estrogen which discourages risk taking” and familial and societal influences that encourage women to be less aggressive if not demure. The author posits, however, that women can overcome such barriers by focusing on mindfulness and well-being. Toward that end, she offers confidence-building strategies and tactics that involve a formula she describes as: “Intention + Repeated Attention = Confidence.” The book rather sweepingly covers many aspects of confidence, including such topics as authenticity, self-compassion, resilience, and assertiveness. It also defines barriers to greater self-confidence, including perfectionism, self-criticism, and “negative rumination.” In a work-related chapter, the book pointedly discusses such topics as interviewing, performance reviews, and public speaking. The final section features helpful advice about facing setbacks and recommends 52 confidence-boosting exercises or “workouts” to perform every week. Each chapter is brimming with motivational exhortations delivered in punchy paragraphs with engaging subheads; the strategies for overcoming perfectionism include “Adjust Your Standards,” “Limit Meticulousness,” “Re-characterize Mistakes,” and “Minimize Comparisons.” McGuinness is unfailingly positive, dishing out encouragement every chance she gets, as she draws on her experience and relates it to other women’s challenges. The author backs up her insightful strategies with notes that reference a multitude of articles and books, which makes for an even stronger presentation.

A compassionate and energizing guide full of confidence-building ideas.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9849901-2-2

Page Count: 266

Publisher: Two XX Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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