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A BETTER WORLD

STARTS WITH A BETTER ME

A warm-hearted New Age guide to well-being, mixing practical wisdom with soulful effusions.

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Addison offers advice for channeling spirit guides in this self-help book.

The author begins by recounting her journey into spiritualism, which reached a milestone on September 22, 2018, when she began direct communications with spirit guides Kevin, a gentle, kindly, male energy; Florence, a vivacious, fun-loving, female energy; and “Sh”eila, a bustling, nurse-like energy. She goes on to provide readers with steps for developing their own spiritual practices. These include meditative visualizations of a wilderness waterfall and a golden light that infuses one’s body; a medley of prayers; and a mindfulness exercise in which one contemplates everything that goes into eating a tomato—from the tomato seed to the sunshine and rainfall that nourish it to the grocery-store shelving that displays the ripened fruit to the debit card that purchases it to the mouth that relishes it. The bulk of the text reprints 366 messages from her guides; their content ranges from fitness tips (“[w]alk 10,000 steps daily or do cardio for thirty minutes at least five days per week”) to soothing lifestyle koans (“Don’t stress. Just let things be”) to therapeutic abstractions (“Don’t be afraid of change. Change is good”). In later chapters, the author urges readers to sign an “annual abundance contract” that petitions the universe to grant one’s desires in exchange for commitments to be a good person, undertake steady self-improvement, and accept a “World Challenge” to donate one percent of one’s income to charity. Addison and her spirit guides reassure readers that they can escape their ruts of negativity in elegant prose that moves from firm confidence-building (“You know you can do this, and you know this is something you have to do”) to frank parental scolding (“[c]lean up your bedroom and closets”) to rapturous mysticism (“Every heart is a heart of God”). Readers seeking a vigorous jolt of uplift and motivation will find it here.

A warm-hearted New Age guide to well-being, mixing practical wisdom with soulful effusions.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 9781039155626

Page Count: 223

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2023

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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CINEMA SPECULATION

A top-flight nonfiction debut from a unique artist.

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The acclaimed director displays his talents as a film critic.

Tarantino’s collection of essays about the important movies of his formative years is packed with everything needed for a powerful review: facts about the work, context about the creative decisions, and whether or not it was successful. The Oscar-winning director of classic films like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs offers plenty of attitude with his thoughts on movies ranging from Animal House to Bullitt to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to The Big Chill. Whether you agree with his assessments or not, he provides the original reporting and insights only a veteran director would notice, and his engaging style makes it impossible to leave an essay without learning something. The concepts he smashes together in two sentences about Taxi Driver would take a semester of film theory class to unpack. Taxi Driver isn’t a “paraphrased remake” of The Searchers like Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? is a paraphrased remake of Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby or De Palma’s Dressed To Kill is a paraphrased remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho. But it’s about as close as you can get to a paraphrased remake without actually being one. Robert De Niro’s taxi driving protagonist Travis Bickle is John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards. Like any good critic, Tarantino reveals bits of himself as he discusses the films that are important to him, recalling where he was when he first saw them and what the crowd was like. Perhaps not surprisingly, the author was raised by movie-loving parents who took him along to watch whatever they were watching, even if it included violent or sexual imagery. At the age of 8, he had seen the very adult MASH three times. Suddenly the dark humor of Kill Bill makes much more sense. With this collection, Tarantino offers well-researched love letters to his favorite movies of one of Hollywood’s most ambitious eras.

A top-flight nonfiction debut from a unique artist.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-311258-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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