Inspiring workbook on fostering a more authentic, joyful life.




In this debut how-to guide, a life coach/writing instructor shares her healing journey and self-care practices, by which readers can hear and heed their own inner voices.

For Payne, “Hiding within the folds of a broken marriage kept me from looking at the brokenness I held within and kept me from hearing the true desires of my heart.” In 2010, after finally asking her husband of 19 years to leave, Payne experienced a visitation from her dead grandmother, who led her to an “ethereal elevator” from which Payne stepped out, “thriving in my life in every way.” After acting on this vision to become a writing instructor and life coach, Payne discusses the importance of “standing firm for yourself” and being guided by intuition. She touches on the science behind self-care, describing the mind/body benefits of meditation, for example, and how “your innate need to be self-filled will give you a healthy sense of self and, in turn, bring you to a more meaningful and sustainable way of serving others.” She recommends having “sacred circles” of friends and family for support, acknowledging that she herself hadn’t shown her true self to her ex-husband. Payne takes readers through a series of statements to analyze current belief systems and to take “bridging action” to reframe perspectives, many focused on becoming more open to taking steps toward her recommended self-care practices, which include meditation, journaling, and committing to good sleep, relaxation time, and communing with nature. Payne, in her debut, offers a relatable personal story with admirably honest admissions about her own blind spots and flaws. In several other real-world examples, she also draws on client experiences to showcase how one can only be truly “response-able” in life if one is “self-full.” While her book contains the same kind of mindfulness advice that can be found in similar books, Payne’s gently guiding tone and her array of useful tips—such as 10 specific routes into journaling—will be particularly helpful to those just starting out in the search into self.

Inspiring workbook on fostering a more authentic, joyful life.

Pub Date: July 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5006-1778-3

Page Count: 150

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2015

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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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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

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The book would have benefited from a tighter structure, but it’s inspiring and relatable for readers with depression.


The creator and host of the titular podcast recounts his lifelong struggles with depression.

With the increasing success of his podcast, Moe, a longtime radio personality and author whose books include The Deleted E-Mails of Hillary Clinton: A Parody (2015), was encouraged to open up further about his own battles with depression and delve deeper into characteristics of the disease itself. Moe writes about how he has struggled with depression throughout his life, and he recounts similar experiences from the various people he has interviewed in the past, many of whom are high-profile entertainers and writers—e.g. Dick Cavett and Andy Richter, novelist John Green. The narrative unfolds in a fairly linear fashion, and the author relates his family’s long history with depression and substance abuse. His father was an alcoholic, and one of his brothers was a drug addict. Moe tracks how he came to recognize his own signs of depression while in middle school, as he experienced the travails of OCD and social anxiety. These early chapters alternate with brief thematic “According to THWoD” sections that expand on his experiences, providing relevant anecdotal stories from some of his podcast guests. In this early section of the book, the author sometimes rambles. Though his experiences as an adolescent are accessible, he provides too many long examples, overstating his message, and some of the humor feels forced. What may sound naturally breezy in his podcast interviews doesn’t always strike the same note on the written page. The narrative gains considerable momentum when Moe shifts into his adult years and the challenges of balancing family and career while also confronting the devastating loss of his brother from suicide. As he grieved, he writes, his depression caused him to experience “a salad of regret, anger, confusion, and horror.” Here, the author focuses more attention on the origins and evolution of his series, stories that prove compelling as well.

The book would have benefited from a tighter structure, but it’s inspiring and relatable for readers with depression.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20928-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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