A fairly standard self-help work with a theistic component.

MIND FILES

PERCEPTION, PERSPECTIVE, & PROBLEMS

A debut spiritual guide challenges readers to improve their lives by changing their perspectives.

As the self-help book’s subtitle suggests, Hodgson’s focus is on perception, perspective, and problems. Readers’ problems are caused by their perspectives—how they see the world. “Your life is a reflection of what you believe about yourself, others and the world around you,” writes the author in her introduction. “If you believe that you can accomplish great things, you will. If you believe that you can’t do anything right, then you won’t accomplish very much.” Readers’ perspectives, in turn, are formed by their past perceptions: interpretations of the world that they have filed away and which their minds continue to return to. Hodgson argues that, in order for readers to change their lives for the better, they have to find a way to separate themselves from these perceptions—emotional baggage, essentially—and form new perspectives. The author walks readers through this process, explaining how patterns of behavior are formed unintentionally by the way emotional reactions to things are processed and stored in the mind. She claims that by jettisoning these stockpiled associations and returning their minds to a state of clarity, readers can open themselves up to spiritual guidance, which will lead them to healthier ways of viewing the world. Hodgson writes in a precise but accessible prose, illustrating her points with frequent examples: “Certain feelings will get attached to a certain word or a group of words, and the combination of those words along with the feelings can end up carrying a great deal of weight. For example, suppose as a young child your mother hugs you every time she tells you she loves you.” The author includes worthy tips and exercises like journaling to help readers break down old barriers. While the spiritual aspect of the book is nondenominational, Hodgson argues that it is necessary for achieving the new, desired perspective. But this spiritual facet fits rather incongruously alongside the rest of the material, which is written in the secular language of pop psychology. Although the book is compact and professionally executed, much of the information in these pages is not especially insightful or innovative within the self-improvement genre.

A fairly standard self-help work with a theistic component.

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2410-3

Page Count: 108

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

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NUTCRACKER

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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

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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