An intriguing blend of reincarnation and the quantum multiverse well-aimed at empowering the spiritual seeker.

Beyond Past Lives


A detailed lesson plan for tapping into “the divinity that is already inside of you.”

Kelley’s (Healing Through Past Life Regression...and Beyond, 2012) latest book opens with a foreword by best-selling author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer attesting to Kelley’s experiences with past-life regression, a semihypnotic state in which a participant feels connected to previous incarnations of his or her soul or essence throughout time. Fans of such past-life regression books as Brian Weiss’s Many Lives, Many Masters (1988) will find much that’s familiar in Kelley’s book, in which she asserts her belief that it’s possible “to heal your present by working with your past.” She offers readers a 10-chapter series of revelations that she’s learned through her own experiences recalling her past lives. For newcomers to the concept, she begins by defining her terms—the soul, or spiritual essence, of each person; the vaguely godlike “Oversoul” from which all those souls originate; and so forth—before getting down to specific cases, often highlighted by the experiences of clients she’s worked with in her own past-life regression business. But Kelley broadens the more traditional narrative of past-life exploration by taking a page from the playbook of quantum physics and adding parallel lives belonging to an infinite variety of alternate selves. “All of your present experiences are drawn from what was once a possible reality,” she writes, and each person’s decisions cause their immediate realities to shift and realign with new possibilities. Much of this is couched in a comforting blend of quasi-Buddhist contemplativeness and quasi-Christian determinism in which bad things happen for a reason and even personal tragedies are part of an ultimately uplifting design. Everything, from life’s ordinary little disappointments to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is used in examples of how positive perceptions can rescue even the grimmest realities from pointlessness. The book’s utilitarian aims are emphasized by a series of exercises and Q-and-A’s designed to reinforce the main point that people can be masters of their own destinies.

An intriguing blend of reincarnation and the quantum multiverse well-aimed at empowering the spiritual seeker.

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-1401946043

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Hay House

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2014

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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 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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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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  • Rolling Stone & Kirkus' Best Music Books of 2020


The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor. One of Kirkus and Rolling Stone’s Best Music Books of 2020.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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