Capably carries out its valuable mission.

HOW TO MANAGE STRESS

A straightforward, practical, and somewhat humdrum guide to coping with stress, with emphasis on the workplace.

In her debut as a solo author, Hird summons her years of experience as a corporate and personal counselor to offer concrete methods for responding to the ever widening scourge called stress. These methods appear to apply most to stressed-out, overworked employees in small offices and corporate divisions. Hird’s bottom-line advice to the overburdened is to request a sit-down with the boss, supervisor, or colleague seen as causing the stress; such a manner would lay out the problem in a civil, formal fashion that cannot be ignored. This approach, she says, is most likely to yield an acceptable solution. She presents numerous if sometimes slightly wooden examples to show how the process works and advises that the meeting requester come armed with suggested solutions to put on the table. This seems like very sound advice and a far better way to handle workplace stress than by, say, having a meltdown or being a doormat and suffering in silence. From an employer’s point of view, following Hird’s counsel could bring hope of improving subpar job performances and cutting down on absenteeism due to stress-related health problems. The emphasis throughout is on managing rather than succumbing to stress. For the sufferer, this begins with frank self-analysis of one’s own personality type and a lifestyle overhaul, if necessary, to help shed stress. A stress test to detect physical and psychological signs of incipient or already present stress is helpfully included. At the book’s core is Hird’s instructive analysis of what she identifies as the five basic coping strategies (not all of them positive or recommended) people use when stress strikes. Flight, for example, isn’t going to work well for someone who detests the job but needs the paycheck. The writing isn’t inspired but rather the competent work of a professional doing what she does best, though one imagines she probably does it even better in an actual group or one-on-one setting. Nonetheless, the print adaptation is nothing if not clearly presented, comprehensive, and almost certainly helpful in reducing stress.

Capably carries out its valuable mission.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1458217028

Page Count: 202

Publisher: AbbottPress

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better...

EVERYTHING IS F*CKED

A BOOK ABOUT HOPE

The popular blogger and author delivers an entertaining and thought-provoking third book about the importance of being hopeful in terrible times.

“We are a culture and a people in need of hope,” writes Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, 2016, etc.). With an appealing combination of gritty humor and straightforward prose, the author floats the idea of drawing strength and hope from a myriad of sources in order to tolerate the “incomprehensibility of your existence.” He broadens and illuminates his concepts through a series of hypothetical scenarios based in contemporary reality. At the dark heart of Manson’s guide is the “Uncomfortable Truth,” which reiterates our cosmic insignificance and the inevitability of death, whether we blindly ignore or blissfully embrace it. The author establishes this harsh sentiment early on, creating a firm foundation for examining the current crisis of hope, how we got here, and what it means on a larger scale. Manson’s referential text probes the heroism of Auschwitz infiltrator Witold Pilecki and the work of Isaac Newton, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Immanuel Kant, as the author explores the mechanics of how hope is created and maintained through self-control and community. Though Manson takes many serpentine intellectual detours, his dark-humored wit and blunt prose are both informative and engaging. He is at his most convincing in his discussions about the fallibility of religious beliefs, the modern world’s numerous shortcomings, deliberations over the “Feeling Brain” versus the “Thinking Brain,” and the importance of striking a happy medium between overindulging in and repressing emotions. Although we live in a “couch-potato-pundit era of tweetstorms and outrage porn,” writes Manson, hope springs eternal through the magic salves of self-awareness, rational thinking, and even pain, which is “at the heart of all emotion.”

Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better world alive.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288843-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more