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HEART VALUE

FEEL APPRECIATED IN WAYS THAT MATTER AND DISCOVER YOUR TRUE STRIDE

A lively, if familiar, guide that urges readers to embrace their inner compasses.

An outspoken blueprint focuses on finding true passion in life.

Rooney opens her advice book with a series of basic questions that many of her readers have likely asked at some point in their personal and professional development. “Do you long for recognition and kudos because you are a rock star, but hear crickets?” she asks. “Do you crave external validation to quiet the self-doubt brewing in your brain?” Dramatized by several incidents that the author presents throughout the guide, these questions—and the unsatisfying answers people often receive from their corporate superiors—raise the subject of what Rooney calls “Heart Value” (“Your understanding—on a cellular level—of who you are and what lights you up, and how that synergistically connects with others”). She urges her readers to remember that they are the world’s leading experts on themselves and that their own instincts already know how to help them reach what the author refers to as their “True Stride” (“Your metaphor for trusting your inner compass to direct your life, set your pace, overcome resistance and honor your Heart Value with each step you take”). Rooney fills each energetic chapter with vivid anecdotal stories, inspirational quotes, and exercises she calls “checkpoints,” all designed to remind her readers that they know themselves best; their instincts are ultimately trustworthy; and their ambitions should be for others to recognize their Heart Value. Her repeated emphasis on implicitly trusting instincts will raise flags with readers who favor manuals that stress rational planning. And many of the pieces of homespun wisdom she dispenses verge on clichés (if you feel stuck, for instance, she suggests trying an introspective activity like taking a walk or running a bath). But Rooney’s legion of loyal “Striders” will love having her invigorating life plan in book form.

A lively, if familiar, guide that urges readers to embrace their inner compasses.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73686-097-7

Page Count: 308

Publisher: True Stride

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2021

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GREENLIGHTS

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

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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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CALL ME ANNE

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

The late actor offers a gentle guide for living with more purpose, love, and joy.

Mixing poetry, prescriptive challenges, and elements of memoir, Heche (1969-2022) delivers a narrative that is more encouraging workbook than life story. The author wants to share what she has discovered over the course of a life filled with abuse, advocacy, and uncanny turning points. Her greatest discovery? Love. “Open yourself up to love and transform kindness from a feeling you extend to those around you to actions that you perform for them,” she writes. “Only by caring can we open ourselves up to the universe, and only by opening up to the universe can we fully experience all the wonders that it holds, the greatest of which is love.” Throughout the occasionally overwrought text, Heche is heavy on the concept of care. She wants us to experience joy as she does, and she provides a road map for how to get there. Instead of slinking away from Hollywood and the ridicule that she endured there, Heche found the good and hung on, with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford starring as particularly shining knights in her story. Some readers may dismiss this material as vapid Hollywood stuff, but Heche’s perspective is an empathetic blend of Buddhism (minimize suffering), dialectical behavioral therapy (tolerating distress), Christianity (do unto others), and pre-Socratic philosophy (sufficient reason). “You’re not out to change the whole world, but to increase the levels of love and kindness in the world, drop by drop,” she writes. “Over time, these actions wear away the coldness, hate, and indifference around us as surely as water slowly wearing away stone.” Readers grieving her loss will take solace knowing that she lived her love-filled life on her own terms. Heche’s business and podcast partner, Heather Duffy, writes the epilogue, closing the book on a life well lived.

A sweet final word from an actor who leaves a legacy of compassion and kindness.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781627783316

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viva Editions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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