A sweet, simple system to foster positive personal action.

Manifesting 123 and you don't need #3

HOW THOUGHT WORKS AND THE SIMPLE TOOLS TO CREATE THE DESIRES OF YOUR LIFETIME

A self-empowerment speaker shares techniques and stories about harnessing the power of thought in this debut self-help guide.

Colorado-based artist Elliott was “drowning with an issue in my life” when a woman named Judy Goodman introduced him to visualization and other psychological concepts to better manage his thoughts. Elliott then “sent” flowers and other gifts to people by visualizing them. He “had doubts like everyone else,” but soon realized that “Your thoughts create virtually every object and concept around you,” and that “what you are thinking directs the path of your life.” In this book, he outlines his system of fostering the “law of attraction,” beginning with the first step—envisioning one’s future as a “Movie” using these lead-in words: “I am in my future and in my future...” He encourages embracing gratitude and avoiding fear and worry, and offers advice on removing negativity from one’s language in the second step. As noted in this book’s title, Elliott doesn’t offer a third step because, he says, one’s thought power is “already happening” and his method merely helps to “increase the chances” of manifesting one’s desires. He shares several people’s stories of successful manifesting, including his own; in one example, when he was stressed about selling his house, Elliott envisioned selling it at a price he could find acceptable and then got an offer. Elliott brings an unsurprisingly cheerful tone to this positive-thinking tome but also some refreshingly nuanced elements, including a warning to expect the occasional “unexpected outcome” and to modulate or even delay one’s desires. His “Movie” concept is an easy, relatable exercise, as is his suggestion to list seven things for which one is grateful. Although this author remains a bit mysterious about details of his own life (such as the specific issue that he was “drowning with”), this doesn’t completely detract from the overall narrative. The book also includes several workbook pages at the end.

A sweet, simple system to foster positive personal action.

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5148-7542-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Solace Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2015

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The author’s sincere sermon—at times analytical, at times hortatory—remains a hopeful one.

THE ROAD TO CHARACTER

New York Times columnist Brooks (The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement, 2011, etc.) returns with another volume that walks the thin line between self-help and cultural criticism.

Sandwiched between his introduction and conclusion are eight chapters that profile exemplars (Samuel Johnson and Michel de Montaigne are textual roommates) whose lives can, in Brooks’ view, show us the light. Given the author’s conservative bent in his column, readers may be surprised to discover that his cast includes some notable leftists, including Frances Perkins, Dorothy Day, and A. Philip Randolph. (Also included are Gens. Eisenhower and Marshall, Augustine, and George Eliot.) Throughout the book, Brooks’ pattern is fairly consistent: he sketches each individual’s life, highlighting struggles won and weaknesses overcome (or not), and extracts lessons for the rest of us. In general, he celebrates hard work, humility, self-effacement, and devotion to a true vocation. Early in his text, he adapts the “Adam I and Adam II” construction from the work of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, Adam I being the more external, career-driven human, Adam II the one who “wants to have a serene inner character.” At times, this veers near the Devil Bugs Bunny and Angel Bugs that sit on the cartoon character’s shoulders at critical moments. Brooks liberally seasons the narrative with many allusions to history, philosophy, and literature. Viktor Frankl, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul Tillich, William and Henry James, Matthew Arnold, Virginia Woolf—these are but a few who pop up. Although Brooks goes after the selfie generation, he does so in a fairly nuanced way, noting that it was really the World War II Greatest Generation who started the ball rolling. He is careful to emphasize that no one—even those he profiles—is anywhere near flawless.

The author’s sincere sermon—at times analytical, at times hortatory—remains a hopeful one.

Pub Date: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9325-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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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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UNTAMED

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. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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