by Rainn Wilson ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2023
With sincere enthusiasm and a playful tone, Wilson highlights the vitality of spirituality in our lives.
The actor and producer explores the importance of spirituality.
A decade after the season finale, Wilson is still most recognized for his role as Dwight Schrute on the U.S. version of The Office. However, the founder of the inspirational media company SoulPancake and producer and star of the new travel docuseries The Geography of Bliss has since applied himself to making the world a better place, and he has a great deal to say about the role of spirituality in that endeavor. In answer to those wondering how a comic actor ends up writing a book about spirituality, Wilson lightly traverses territory covered in more depth in his 2015 memoir, The Bassoon King. He recalls a bohemian childhood during which the Baha'i faith of his parents became important to him, and he writes about later mental health and addiction struggles that returned him to his faith and launched a spiritual journey during which he voraciously consumed the teachings of the world's religions. This book would seem to be the literary culmination of this journey, "a book on big spiritual ideas," in which Wilson considers our most difficult challenges and outlines nothing short of a spiritual revolution as a path to healing them. In a chapter titled “Hey, Kids, Let’s Build the Perfect Religion!” the author extracts religion's most essential aspects and leads readers on a participatory journey to do just that. Along the way, Wilson covers numerous heady concepts, including the purpose of life (soul growth), life after death, and God. Outrageous as this becomes, the book remains true to the author's thesis—that the world needs spiritual solutions to many of its ailments—and Wilson walks a razor-sharp line in addressing the most sacred of topics with the airy irreverence one might expect from the former sitcom star.With sincere enthusiasm and a playful tone, Wilson highlights the vitality of spirituality in our lives.
Pub Date: April 25, 2023
Page Count: 256
Publisher: Hachette Go
Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023
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by Robert Greene ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 1, 1998
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
Page Count: 430
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998
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BOOK TO SCREEN
by Melissa Etheridge ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023
A must for Etheridge fans, with plenty of lessons for striving musicians.
New Age–tinged memoir by lesbian rock icon Etheridge, recounting the highs and lows of a long career.
To paraphrase French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “I am a spiritual being having a human experience,” writes Etheridge. She’s also a survivor of many a rough patch, from seeking the approval of an emotionally distant mother who considered her queer identity a “psychological illness” to kicking cancer and enduring a couple of very ugly breakups—and, worst of all, the death of a son to a fentanyl overdose. Etheridge’s book of revelations begins on a heady note, her mind on a hard-earned vacation courtesy of a whole bunch of pot-laced cookies. She had an epiphany that “love is within us and all around us” and that maybe she didn’t have to try so hard. Still, for all the past-life-regressing and consultations of astrological charts, the author seems to be a get-it-done, practical-minded Midwesterner with no end to her work ethic. Would-be songwriters stand to learn quite a bit from studying her process as well as the pointers from those who taught her—e.g., a jazz guitarist who instructed, “Doesn’t matter what notes you play. Just never go out of time.” It took a while for Etheridge to hit the big time, but she amassed enough material over years of hard work that she could field an at-home pandemic concert series every night for a month without repeating herself. Another lesson she discusses is the importance of connecting with one’s spiritual being, “assisted, of course, by ingesting a lot of cannabis.” On that note, Etheridge serves up a meaningful, even helpful elaboration of Don Miguel Ruiz’s famed “four agreements,” the last of which should form the heart of anyone’s life practices: “Just do your best, always.”A must for Etheridge fans, with plenty of lessons for striving musicians.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Harper Wave
Review Posted Online: June 15, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023
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