A debut diet book with an effective method and a warm heart.




A down-to-earth approach to weight loss that begins with loving oneself.

Even a cursory glance at bookstore shelves will reveal a glut of self-help and diet books, and it can be difficult for readers to wade through the competing theories. Kerkhoff, however, has discovered a new way to slim down, not by cutting out a particular food or exercising until you drop, but by listening to the real emotional needs beneath the cravings. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a young woman, Kerkhoff became motivated to take care of herself by drawing emotional strength from the love of others and, eventually, her love for herself. The wisdom she’s gleaned from her own experience may be useful to many, regardless of whether they’re looking to lose weight. The first step in Kerkhoff’s program is to become your “authentic” self by truly engaging with the world and your feelings at any given moment. Once you participate in the present moment, she says, you can form meaningful relationships. She recommends cultivating at least eight such relationships, which show you that you’re worthy of love and have a right to be valued for who you are; they also teach you how to interpret others’ behavior in new, less harmful ways. Other steps include retraining your brain to frame setbacks in a positive light, taking responsibility for your circumstances and setting a course of action to improve them, managing the fear of failure, and exercising your mind. What sets Kerkhoff’s approach apart from others is her philosophy that the self responds best to love and gentleness, not criticism and hatred: “I don’t want you to feel deprived; I want you to feel fulfilled. I don’t want you to feel scared; I want you to feel confident. I don’t want you to feel alone; I want you to always feel good in your own company. Because it matters. It is practice.”

A debut diet book with an effective method and a warm heart. 

Pub Date: June 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1614488743

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2014

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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


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.

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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