A rambling and confusing attempt to reconstruct a past life.

MY LIFE BEFORE

MEMOIR OF A LOST ROYAL

Frazier’s (Battle of Beginnings: Let there be Light!, 2016, etc.) presents a memoir of a previous existence in ancient Egypt.

The author is a believer in the idea that one’s soul is reincarnated in a new body after death. Although he says that’s he’s lived before in several times and places, this memoir focuses specifically on his life during the 18th and 19th Egyptian dynasties. At this time, Frazier says, he was known as Amenhotep and was a member of the royal family—the half brother of Tutankhamen—and served as both a servant and lover to the pharaoh, Seti I. As the author describes it, he was close to his family, especially his sisters, and he recalls moments of anger, laughter, dancing, and even death. One of the more intriguing aspects of Frazier’s memoir is how he says that his relationships in his previous life manifest in the present. For example, he says that he believes that three of his Egyptian sisters are now reincarnated as his co-workers at Dollar General and that another is a frequent customer. Seti I’s wife, “Tuya-reincarnate,” now works at a grocery store, he writes. Even Seti I’s reincarnation shows up in one of Frazier’s classes, he says, although their romance does not reignite. He devotes pages to his past relationship with Seti I, including several explicit sex scenes; however, Amenhotep ultimately met his demise at Seti’s hands during a battle, he writes. Throughout this memoir, the author offers numerous, disjointed memories and stories but little in the way of historical context or fact despite his claim that he “underwent some super intense massive research.” The disorganized narrative meanders through the past and present, veering off on tangents involving R&B music and actresses Angelina Jolie and Angela Bassett, the latter of whom, Frazier writes, was Seti I’s mother in a past life. Misspellings, improper punctuation, awkward sentence structure, and incorrect grammar are rampant: “I still have a bad habit of losing something, I wouldn’t be surprise if Egyptologists finds anything that belonged to me, because I’m good for losing anything.(Chuckling).”

A rambling and confusing attempt to reconstruct a past life.

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4910-9401-3

Page Count: 122

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2017

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Honest messages from one of America's best known women.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE

A compilation of advice from the Queen of All Media.

After writing a column for 14 years titled “What I Know For Sure” for O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Winfrey brings together the highlights into one gift-ready collection. Grouped into themes like Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe, Clarity and Power, each short essay is the distilled thought of a woman who has taken the time to contemplate her life’s journey thus far. Whether she is discussing traveling across the country with her good friend, Gayle, the life she shares with her dogs or building a fire in the fireplace, Winfrey takes each moment and finds the good in it, takes pride in having lived it and embraces the message she’s received from that particular time. Through her actions and her words, she shows readers how she's turned potentially negative moments into life-enhancing experiences, how she's found bliss in simple pleasures like a perfectly ripe peach, and how she's overcome social anxiety to become part of a bigger community. She discusses the yo-yo dieting, exercise and calorie counting she endured for almost two decades as she tried to modify her physical body into something it was not meant to be, and how one day she decided she needed to be grateful for each and every body part: "This is the body you've been given—love what you've got." Since all of the sections are brief and many of the essays are only a couple paragraphs long—and many members of the target audience will have already read them in the magazine—they are best digested in short segments in order to absorb Winfrey's positive and joyful but repetitive message. The book also features a new introduction by the author.

Honest messages from one of America's best known women.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1250054050

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Flatiron View Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A realistic, motivating conversation about weight loss for those who have tried everything else and failed.

THE JOY OF EATING

Part memoir and part pep talk, this debut book urges dieters to stop counting fat grams and learn to enjoy food.

When her mother died, Irwin was devastated. She was also mortified that old friends would see her at the funeral because she had “gained so much weight.” Trapped in a cycle of yo-yo dieting that had begun when she was in junior high, Irwin was a size 22 by the time she was in her 40s. Miserable, she constantly berated herself while agonizing over calories and eating prepackaged diet industry food. Then one day Irwin decided to stop dieting and love herself at any weight, eating without guilt or shame. A big believer in the “law of attraction,” where thoughts create reality, she began thinking positively about herself. Retraining her mind to view food as pleasurable nourishment, she started eating nutrient-dense items—including leafy green vegetables and fruits. And if she wanted a piece of cake—well, she just went ahead and devoured it. The pounds began coming off naturally, and as time passed, Irwin’s once overweight body became fit. This dramatic and familiar life story quickly turns into an upbeat motivational speech for stressed-out dieters, as Irwin divulges her no-frills secret for healthy weight loss—eat good food and feel great about it. While this common-sense approach isn’t new, diet-disgusted readers who don’t mind a curse word or two may be able to relate to Irwin’s friendly, plainspoken voice, as when she describes dysfunctional labels people often place on food: “How about this classic attitude, ‘Fuck it, I’ve been so bad this week I think I’ll just eat the rest of this box of cookies’?” Some of the author’s inspirational thoughts are memorable: she compares the negative voice in her head to a bully who shouldn’t be tolerated. Light on diet jargon and health-related facts (the author mentions that 68.5 percent of U.S. adults are overweight, but she doesn't cite sources), this thin, fast-paced work can be read in a couple of hours.

A realistic, motivating conversation about weight loss for those who have tried everything else and failed.    

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5043-6051-7

Page Count: 124

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2017

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