An odd but ultimately endearing memoir.

MY JOURNEY WITH GEORGE

A SOUL CONNECTION

Heller tells of receiving supernatural help from an unlikely, and famous, source in this debut Christian memoir.

On Christmas Day 2016, the author simply could not get into the holiday spirit. The single mother of two had launched a jewelry business that year, and the startup debt was weighing on her. Then she learned from her daughter that the singer George Michael had died. “George was known for helping anyone in need,” she reflected. “I kept thinking, I wish he could have helped me grow my business. I wish I had someone like him to discuss marketing with. I wish I could have gotten his opinion on my jewelry line.” That night, she prayed to God to make Michael one of “my angels.” A few months later, Heller suffered a possible heart attack; at the hospital, she thought that she heard Michael’s song “Careless Whisper” playing somewhere, although her daughter assured her that it was not. Then, despite some troubling potential diagnoses, it turned out there was nothing wrong with Heller’s heart. Over the subsequent months and years, the author writes, she experienced ghostly happenings—boots moving on their own, bowls of creamer refilling themselves, televisions flicking on mysteriously—along with more spectral George Michael songs that only she could hear. She wondered: Could it really be possible that the deceased singer’s spirit was watching over her and her children? The tone of Heller’s prose is chatty and light, but she knows how to get across spooky moments when required: “I…tried to figure out why in the world I had just had a dream about George Michael. There he was, singing ‘Careless Whisper.’ Wait—was I still dreaming? No, I was definitely awake.” Overall, it’s a strange premise for a memoir, and skeptical readers will find it a difficult one to believe despite Heller’s efforts. That said, the supernatural elements are secondary to her story of finding ways to overcome the small (and not-so-small) obstacles that she encountered in her everyday life. As a result, this relatable remembrance will likely leave readers with a warm, Christmas-y feeling.

An odd but ultimately endearing memoir.

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5462-7090-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2019

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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 MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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