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


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

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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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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