A series of encouraging narratives of reinvention.



How to engage in acts of change instead of a midlife crisis.

Heaton acknowledges that aging and growth are difficult; however, she writes, “there are countless people in the world right now finding drive, purpose, and passionately reinventing themselves in all kinds of beautiful ways.” In the first short essays, the author shares her personal story of growth and the changes she’s made recently as an “ambassador for the Christian aid organization World Vision.” After her tale of transformation, she describes those of others across the country who have felt an inner need to do something different with their lives in middle age and beyond. Some followed their passions while others were forced into change due to external circumstances. Yet each person mustered the strength, oftentimes by relying on a strong Christian faith, to overcome obstacles and achieve success, however they defined it. Liz Smothers created a lucrative pie-making company; Lisa Johnson, a night-shift nurse and single mother of four, began a lucrative medical staffing company. An injury altered the path of Ta’u Pupu’a from that of a football player to an opera singer. Yudi Bennett is helping autistic people find work in the film industry. Regardless of the direction each person has taken, the stories are motivational and offer glimpses into the possibilities open to anyone willing to put in the work to find a new direction in life. Heaton follows each story with a Q&A with each interviewee, a summary of key ideas—“Patty’s Points”—to take away from each lesson, and a few reflection questions and space for readers to write down their reactions and thoughts. The book is very much in the traditional self-help vein and so will appeal to readers of the genre, but each narrative offers a compressed vision of hope and accomplishment that many will find appealing.

A series of encouraging narratives of reinvention.

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982141-60-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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


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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