A surprising and enlightening spiritual memoir.

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A MIDLIFE AWAKENING

AND A YEAR OF MESSAGES FROM ASCENDED MASTERS

An experienced medium tells the story of her spiritual awakening and offers hope and healing for others.

In 2012, Petruccelli was attending the Philadelphia Mind Body Spirit Festival, where she hoped to get psychic readings that would provide her with wisdom and comfort. But Argentinian medium Roberto Pena had something grander to tell her; he simply said to her: “It is your time.” Petruccelli began a psychic journey of her own, in which she says that she found that she was a medium who could both receive and transmit messages from “angels” and the spirits of the dead. Shortly thereafter, she founded the Pike Creek Reiki and Healing Arts Center in Newark, Delaware, as a place for channeling, meditation, and overall spiritual health. The first part of this memoir effectively focuses on her own growth and development as a spiritual guide over the past five years or so. The second, longer part of the book is essentially a medium’s diary—a week-by-week record of channeling experiences over the course of about a year. Often, she tells of receiving messages from well-known Christian figures: Martha, Mary Magdalene, and even Jesus. Other times, she writes of communicating with Buddhist masters, notably a goddess of compassion called Quan Yin. Sometimes the figures offer universal wisdom; at others, they carry personal messages for those visiting the Healing Arts Center. Over the course of this book, Petruccelli tells her own story—and her stories of channeling—with breathless enthusiasm. During the first section, for instance, she comes across as a gracious and grateful woman, spending ample time thanking her mentors for all the help they gave her. Sometimes, this energetic tone makes her book feel hastily written, but many readers will quickly sense that the narrative’s quick pace is simply the result of her own excitement. Those readers who find that they’re able to race along with her will be astounded and nourished.

A surprising and enlightening spiritual memoir.

Pub Date: March 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-982201-42-5

Page Count: 108

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

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

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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