30 Days of Healing Meditations

A short pamphlet delivers inspirational Christian motivations.

Fisher’s nonfiction debut offers a brief, tightly packed compendium of encouragements for readers who feel themselves overstressed by the modern world or adrift by personal problems, “shipwrecked by the storms of life,” and in need of some helpful advice. Her quick, 30-day cycle of chapters is designed to help readers find their inner power sources and channel that force through the serenity of daily meditation to alter their lives for the better, replacing fear, anger, and guilt with forgiveness, faith, love, and joy. Each “day” of her handbook consists of two or three quick paragraphs of thought about some aspect of life—the death of a loved one, the loss of certainty, the failure of health—and then a bullet-pointed clarifying resolution for readers, maxims of assurance or uplift intended to help them make “lofty choices rising out of the mud of hatred and self-indulgence.” One of Fisher’s repeated emphases involves the concept of helping readers find their own personal spiritual purposes and stick to them. She wants them always to ask, “Have I taken the time to define my purpose?”—and the path in all such cases is for believers to put their trust in God (the volume’s target audience obviously, but it gently excludes non-Christians and atheists). Many of the ruminations turn on Christian commonplaces like the pious trio of Faith, Hope, and Love, but the book’s plain and passionate diction mostly saves it from feeling derivative. These may be simple observations and encouragements, but they’re clearly held in complete sincerity. And the gist of these pages is not in any way passive—the faithful are reminded consistently that change will only come about as a result of their own efforts: “We do have a road map if we want to do the work,” the author writes. But, she notes, the infinite energy source of the divine that each believer can tap into makes the work of self-improvement easier, even joyful at times.

A worthy, day-by-day guided devotional for Christian meditation.


Pub Date: June 3, 2015

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 61

Publisher: Pyramid Collections

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2016

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

NIGHT

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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