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

HEART VALUE

FEEL APPRECIATED IN WAYS THAT MATTER AND DISCOVER YOUR TRUE STRIDE

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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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 refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.

MY BODY

The international model embarks on a nuanced investigation of her body and identity.

Ratajkowski’s exploration of fame, self-identity, and what it means to be a “beautiful” woman is surprisingly engaging. Originally thrust into the spotlight in 2013 due to her scantily clad appearance in the music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” the author eventually became known for her stances about beauty and sexuality and how they are commodified. Now that she is a wife and mother, she writes, “I feel a tenderness toward my younger self. My defensiveness and defiance are palpable to me now. What I wrote and preached then reflected what I believed at the time, but it missed a much more complicated picture. In many ways, I have been undeniably rewarded by capitalizing on my sexuality….But in other, less overt ways, I’ve felt objectified and limited by my position in the world as a so-called sex symbol.” This short book includes the juicy tidbits that avid celebrity-memoir readers seek, and the author shares how she really felt about the video shoot and how the aftermath affected her. Beyond that, the book is a reflective coming-of-age-in-the-industry tale, a story that is never maudlin but contains a few thick, murky sections. Ratajkowski attempts to break down the construction of her identity and sexuality in relation to the ever present male gaze as well as her relationships with the women in her life. The charm of this book lies in the author’s largely relatable writing, which shows the complex emotions and confusion of a young woman experiencing her sexual development and maturation into a capable adult. Admitting that the “purpose of the book is not to arrive at answers, but honestly to explore ideas I can’t help but return to,” Ratajkowski grapples directly with a host of thorny issues.

A refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-81786-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Metropolitan/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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