A helpful, hopeful and thorough guide that invites readers to change the images in their mirrors.

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THE POWER OF LABELS

HOW DO WE GET LABELED? HOW DO LABELS PREDETERMINE OUR LIVES? HOW TO GET RID OF THEM AND LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE...

Gestalt psychotherapist Beron, in her debut self-help book, examines the positive and negative impacts of being socially labeled and how such labels shape one’s feelings, thoughts and behavior.

“The power of labels is like an invisible pressure...which intercepts our thoughts and actions, distorts beyond recognition the mirror...and makes us vulnerable to the pain of the past and the fear of the future,” asserts the author in the book’s foreword. Although people may acquire labels at any age, Beron contends that most first appear in childhood and come from such sources as classmates, teachers, parents and friends. She briefly describes the Gestalt theory of psychotherapy, which emphasizes personal responsibility, and uses it as a basis for exploring ways that people may assume positive control over their lives. Beron reminds readers that people may be labeled in direct and indirect ways, with or without cruel intent, due to name-calling, nicknames or comparison to others. What’s important, then, is how people believe such characterizations and how they become a part of their identities. In turn, those conceptions of identity influence people’s thoughts and habits and may deter them from changing their lives. “It doesn't even cross our minds that we can change something within us...it is easier to say: ‘I am like that,’ ” Beron writes. She effectively encourages readers to delve into their pasts to remember the origins of negative labels; she stresses that when children are victims of name-calling, they’re too emotional and immature to question such characterizations and, instead, simply believe them. She also engagingly explores how adults, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, aren’t immune to family, peer-group and media labels.

A helpful, hopeful and thorough guide that invites readers to change the images in their mirrors.

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481798457

Page Count: 116

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2013

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

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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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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