A wonderfully inviting guide that reminds readers that calm breathing is the center of life itself.

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A debut manual focuses on personal transformation.

This book by Chelec Cafritz is deceptively wide-ranging given its comparatively slim page count, as the author lays out a calmly worded, comprehensive life guide that begins with a series of health mishaps. While tending her new baby, she began to experience severe neck pain; she went to a doctor, who advised her to stop looking up. After years of tolerating this persistent pain, she tried a “gentle” yoga class to help deal with the problem. At these classes, she began to experience terrifying incidents her physician characterized as “anxiety attacks.” And in an attempt to treat those episodes, she went to a “breathworker.” Through “conscious breathing,” Chelec Cafritz formed an entirely new worldview. She describes herself in this manual as having been “high-strung, something of an overachiever” without “a woo-woo bone in my body,” but “conscious breathing” changed her outlook on life. “Each inhalation, each exhalation, can be a pathway to joy, to love, to living a full and authentic life,” she writes. “Each breath links us directly to our minds, our hearts, and our souls. There is no such thing as an unimportant breath.” One strand running throughout the rest of the volume consists of useful advice on how readers can learn breathwork themselves: “Try and create slow, steady calm breaths. Feel the floor under your feet. Feel the back of the chair supporting you.” The other major strand deftly explores the insights that the author gleaned as a result of her practice of conscious breathing. Among other things, the method heightened her awareness of the “numbing” effects of long-standing, unexamined habits. Eventually, she began taking on breathwork clients of her own and included here are some memorably touching anecdotes. Chelec Cafritz’s prose throughout is exuberantly readable, with a wry self-awareness that’s often missing from books of this kind. Even nonpractitioners should find themselves breathing easier for reading these pages.

A wonderfully inviting guide that reminds readers that calm breathing is the center of life itself.

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73379-554-8

Page Count: 174

Publisher: Warren Publishing, Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2019



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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