A stirring narrative with plenty of positive energy.


One woman’s midlife crisis becomes a catalyst for personal change in this memoir and self-help book.

Debut author Nikutowski remembers her early years, growing up in Argentina to cautious parents who lived through World War II, as being filled with fear of the unknown. After she traveled to Egypt in her 20s, it became clear to her that the world wasn’t quite as scary as her parents made it out to be. According to Nikutowski, the way one looks at life is the key to contentment: “Everything is possible. See yourself in all the details as the person you want to become.” But this knowledge was hard-won; she went through an emotionally draining time at the age of 40, as she grappled with such questions as “Was I living the life I had always dreamed about?” Here, she shares the techniques and exercises that helped her to renew her zest for life, in the hope that they’ll help to guide readers who may be experiencing their own crises. Each chapter includes thoughtful exercises called “Action Steps” that aim to put readers into a proactive state of mind, such as “Make a list of ten goals that you have already accomplished.” Chapter summaries offer key takeaway points, making it easy to skip around the book, if one desires. The author shares several stories from her own life to illustrate her concepts; some are sad or shocking, while others are more reassuring. It’s clear that Nikutowski has done her research, citing international studies, with endnotes, to back up her claims, such as “it takes an average of 66 days to change a habit.” Some habits hold us back, she asserts, and these need to change if one is to live a richer, more fulfilling life. Throughout this book, her tone is insistent, but never demanding; like a trusted friend, she asks readers to face some tough questions about themselves, and not all of the answers will be flattering. But for those willing to do the work, Nikutowski asserts, the rewards outweigh the challenges.

A stirring narrative with plenty of positive energy.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73260-900-6

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Spring Rain Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2019

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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