An often engaging book that uses wit and wisdom to connect women to a sense of divinity.

THE GODDESS PAGES

36 DIVINE FEMALES TO GUIDE YOU TO MORE LOVE, SUCCESS, AND HAPPINESS

A reverend offers a how-to guide for unleashing one’s inner goddess.

Brockway opens her discussion by analyzing the Garden of Eden from alternative perspectives, reframing the biblical Eve as a liberator. She then presents her views on 36 female spiritual figures, each of whom, she says, offer women pathways to fulfilling their potential, divided into five categories: “Self-Empowerment and Strength,” “Love and Romance,” “Family Life and Friendship,” “Work and Finances,” and “Play and Lightheartedness.” These heroes include famous goddesses, such as Venus, representing self-appreciation, and Isis, channeling the healing of relationships, as well as lesser-known figures, such as White Buffalo Calf Woman, symbolizing sacred female leadership, and Brigid, embodying creativity and inspiration. Brockway also includes Christian religious figures, such as the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Saint Térèse, uniting them through themes of female encouragement and strength. Brockway ultimately offers a book about self-love, encouraging women to connect with a more genuine sense of beauty and power than mainstream media offers. Brockway offers a diverse pantheon, including divine women from Asia, Africa, and northern Europe, and she adds a practical element to an otherwise esoteric work, proposing self-care activities to help one “connect” with these divines, including affirmations, mantras, healing baths, runes, and meditations. Furthermore, Brockway’s work uses accessible language that adds color and humor to the narrative, bringing the goddesses to life. That said, this is not a history text, and much of the content is focused on simply portraying the goddesses as symbols of feminine inspiration. Some readers may also find the largely heteronormative tone lacking in inclusivity. For the most part, however, readers are likely to enjoy Brockway’s affirmative text.

An often engaging book that uses wit and wisdom to connect women to a sense of divinity.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-941630-20-4

Page Count: 334

Publisher: Goddess Communications

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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