An engaging, if sometimes muddled, guide to finding the right life coach.

FINDING YOUR COACH

DIVING DEEP WITHIN

A highly personal motivational manual focuses on life coaches.

“What do I want to do?” Kelly asks early on in this debut work of nonfiction. “What would I like to do? What would I like to do that gives life meaning?” The author knows that these and other key fundamental questions beset her readers, and she offers a wide range of thoughts on the kinds of coaches people might consult in order to help them navigate the complicated field of possible answers. “Working with a coach is admitting that the coach has knowledge you don't have,” she writes. While this isn’t exactly true (coaches in everything from sports to executive management are typically used for their clarity and motivation, not for secret knowledge), Kelly’s book seeks to be a guide to discovering the right kind of coach for whatever a person feels is lacking in life. In a fast-paced overview of the assorted sources where people over the centuries have gone in search of direction, the author quickly checks in with such widely varied topics and figures as the Myers-Briggs personality test, Mary Baker Eddy, Dr. Spock, the collective wisdom, war brides, the GI Bill, and Weight Watchers, among many others. In clearly written short chapters, she helps readers assess not only the nature of their problems (Money troubles? Lack of discipline? Introvert living among extrovert expectations?), but also the best ways to test the virtues and shortcomings of the great range of potential coaches available in just a single internet search. Whether it’s one-day seminars, weeklong retreats, or online webinars, she advocates a “trust, but verify” initial wariness. Some of the book’s breakdowns of how to gauge problems are usefully straightforward, but the wide range of subjects works against any feeling of narrative focus. And the author’s penchant for truisms—success is always in your hands; life takes many twists and turns; even “Know Thyself”—likewise blunts the manual’s more original content.

An engaging, if sometimes muddled, guide to finding the right life coach.

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2018

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 145

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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