A focused, compelling argument for making significant lifestyle changes in the later years.

A Survivor's Guide To Successful Aging

WITH RECIPES FOR 1 WEEK PROVIDED BY CHRISTINA SCHILLING

A former physician offers a well-researched, pragmatic approach to healthy aging.

As baby boomers advance in age, books about healthy aging proliferate. Adding to the category is this title by Schilling, a former physician who started both a health information website and a blog about, among other things, coping with getting old. Here, without making unsubstantiated claims, Schilling offers a sensible, realistic overview of how to combat aging. He first focuses on the “metabolic syndrome” and the problems it can cause as one ages. Schilling suggests that preventionmethods and reducing certain risk factors will potentially allow an individual to live a much longer, healthier life. Most of the book concentrates on the specific steps needed in obvious areas: food, exercise, stress, etc. But Schilling also addresses hormone replacement, vitamins and supplements, as well as how to change and monitor lifestyle habits. The author integrates the results of numerous research studies into the text to add a sense of impartiality to his recommendations. He also supplements the text with several tables that help make absorbing the information more palatable. While a few of his scientific explanations may be a bit too technical for the average reader, Schilling for the most part sticks to easily understood language. Indeed, the doctor writes with both authority and passion; he also describes how he and his wife adopted his food and exercise plans, which lends the book a more believable voice. Schilling does hold some beliefs that readers will have to evaluate on their own terms; for example, he is a strong proponent of bioidentical hormone replacement: “With bioidentical hormone replacement, you can add about twenty years of youthful life without disabilities to the normal life expectancy.” Schilling also endorses eating organic foods and virtually removing sugar and starch from daily diets. To demonstrate that his food constraints are not onerous, however, he helpfully includes several enticing recipes developed by his wife for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A focused, compelling argument for making significant lifestyle changes in the later years.

Pub Date: March 31, 2014

ISBN: 978-1494765330

Page Count: 200

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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