A lucid, step-by-step guide to personal and professional success—with vichyssoise mixed in.

THE BUSINESS OF BEING

SOUL PURPOSE IN AND OUT OF THE WORKPLACE

A book combines a personal guide and business manual with a culinary story.

Buchanan’s (Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth, 2016) work blends self-help strategies and business planning. She lays out a series of plain-sounding but persuasively thoughtful principles organized around the straightforward contention that there really isn’t much difference between the two disciplines, asking a deceptively simple question: “Can implementing business values improve personal lives?” She uses the distinctions among a job (a stop-gap measure—temporary, one hopes), a career (the long-term investment in an occupation), and a vocation (a “meaningful, joyful” calling) to open up a larger examination of the ways, in her conception, an individual bears many similarities to a small business. Therefore, many sound principles for small businesses might help to clarify diverse areas of life. And her ongoing illustration of these correspondences is the imaginative highlight of the book: the vibrant account of the founding and running of a French restaurant called La Mandarine Bleue in Boise, Idaho, complete with recipes. By spotlighting the establishment and its creators, Buchanan is able to give her broader lessons some much-needed human grounding, particularly because some of those teachings are very broad indeed. “The good news is, you don’t find your purpose,” she asserts. “You determine it. It’s a choice, a conscious decision that you make.” At another point, she writes: “If we wear a suit of armor all the time to protect ourselves and to hide our fears and feelings, we’ll never allow ourselves to be hurt.” She intersperses these maxims with sayings drawn from a wide variety of popular business and motivational books and speakers, all focused in one way or another on the volume’s central concept of the personal as professional. “How do you conduct your life?” she asks her readers in the manual’s key point of thematic intersection, its discussion of building a personal brand. “What are your ethics and practices?” This work is a fine, clear-headed place to find some answers.

A lucid, step-by-step guide to personal and professional success—with vichyssoise mixed in.

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63152-395-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Rolling Stone & Kirkus' Best Music Books of 2020

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor. One of Kirkus and Rolling Stone’s Best Music Books of 2020.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

Did you like this book?

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more