While it delivers an inviting spiritual approach, this guide could use additional personal details.

YOU MATTER

TEN SPIRITUAL COMMITMENTS FOR A RICHER AND MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE

A self-help book offers teachings from an addiction recovery facility.

Beit T’Shuvah is a residential treatment center in California that is also a synagogue. Although addicts need not be Jewish to live there, events like Friday night Sabbath services are regular occurrences. Borovitz (Finding Recovery and Yourself in Torah, 2016, etc.) and Bergman (Nolo’s Deposition Handbook, 2018, etc.) assert that the goal of the facility is to lead everyone who enters, regardless of religious beliefs, to “a richer and more meaningful life,” albeit attaining that objective is not always an easy task. At the helm of the operation is Borovitz, a man who has had his own struggles with addiction and who has spent time in prison. The main crux of the book consists of his “ten spiritual commitments,” which are based on the Ten Commandments but also borrow from the teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous. These are concepts such as the fourth commitment, which encourages individuals to regularly assess their actions with “spiritual inventories.” Generally, readers are encouraged to take careful stock of their lives and seek improvement, even if it means becoming only one “grain of sand” better each day. The volume also features testaments from former residents of Beit T’Shuvah and others who have been involved with the organization. At under 200 pages, the book moves quickly, and it certainly delivers a unique perspective on spiritual self-help. Life lessons stemming from an addiction facility steeped in Judaism constitute an intriguing niche, and the counsel given is both practical and humble. But the manual would have benefited from a deeper embrace of its unusual angle. The statements from former residents are concise and often blunt (one ex-patient refers to his past self as “an addicted loser”), but they leave many questions. For instance, what was it like for a non-Jewish, recovering addict to attend Friday services for the first time? How did one’s experience at Beit T’Shuvah compare to other facilities? Nevertheless, the work deftly illustrates that people’s spiritual journeys, whether they suffer from addictions or not, are not easy. And who better to give advice than those who have traveled on some particularly rocky roads?

While it delivers an inviting spiritual approach, this guide could use additional personal details.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5462-5207-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

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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