A personal and inviting investigation of how to find real happiness.

THE HAPPINESS RECIPE

A POWERFUL GUIDE TO LIVING WHAT MATTERS

A guide to finding joy in the here and now.

As this book opens, debut author and lawyer-turned–happiness coachMorrison gives readers a thumbnail sketch of her own life, which seems, on the surface, to have all the ingredients required for happiness: “I earned the grades, degrees, competitive positions, and dollars,” she writes. “I had the partner, the kids, the stable high-paying job, and the house—everything that, on paper, should have been enough.” However, she says, “I spent countless hours trying to figure out what else I needed to be happy.” She offers her insights on how she found her own joy in a book that, she hastens to add, is not one-size-fits-all but might be useful for many readers. The first of these insights governs the rest: a definition of what she calls priority-alignment living. “Do more of what matters most to you,” she writes, “and let go of the rest.” Happiness, she stresses, isn’t about taking hits and making compromises now in hopes of gaining greater contentment in some hypothetical future; rather, it’s about finding what one needs in each of the “seasons” that life presents. By this, she doesn’t mean “youth, middle age, and old age,” she says, but life phases with personalized definitions that take stock of what one is doing and what one can do to provide oneself with comfort. Morrison presents a clear series of mental exercises designed to help readers identify their goals and separate their anxieties from their passions; if one fails to do so, it can create what the author calls an “Emotional Energy Gap,” which she describes as “the biggest culprit of failed attempts, repeated start-and-stop loops, and procrastination.” In a series of smoothly executed chapters, she elucidates this and other similar concepts. Over the course of her book, her advice is plainspoken and experience-tested, and the latter quality gives the work an extra resonance. Her warm tone makes even familiar nostrums feel sincere, as when she writes, “In my experience, doing more of what doesn’t make you happy isn’t how you get happier.”

A personal and inviting investigation of how to find real happiness.

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73677-300-0

Page Count: 198

Publisher: Untangle Happiness

Review Posted Online: April 2, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more