An enjoyable, informative self-help book.

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Discovering the It Factor within You

DISCOVERING YOUR CHARISMATIC PERSONALITY

Actress and animal activist Rowland explores the nuances of unlocking one’s charisma in order to have a richer, happier, and more fulfilled life.

According to the author, charisma is “an amalgamation of your inherent talents and the passion with which you were born.” In 23 chapters, she covers every aspect of this trait from the spiritual to the sexual to the professional, and also explores the relationship between charisma and karma—separate forces that she says an enlightened being can influence to act in tandem. She warns against the dangers of using charisma for evil, however, citing examples such as Adolf Hitler and Jim Jones, and offers numerous examples of celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, who have used the trait for positive effects. The book is structured well, as it presents the overall concept effortlessly and gradually delves into its nuances. When the author presents details of various energy-related healing and releasing practices, such as reiki, toward the end of the book, it feels like a logical part of a natural narrative sequence. Rowland’s story of her own tragic personal history, including the poisoning of her mother by a deranged lover and the collapse of her own romantic relationships with famous actors, is woven into the book, resulting in an unusual, inspirational tapestry. The author’s highs and lows are perhaps more dramatic than the average reader’s, but their inclusion helps propel her overall message. She shows how her life path has been about confronting tragedies, not avoiding them. By refusing to associate with toxic personalities and pursuing the path that gave her the greatest sense of well-being and purpose, she says, she’s managed to avoid the pitfalls of depression and anxiety.

An enjoyable, informative self-help book.

Pub Date: March 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-578-15629-3

Page Count: 242

Publisher: Kismet Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2015

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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