Perceptive and wise self-improvement advice.

THE JOURNEYMAN LIFE

THE NOT-SO-PERFECT PATH TO A LIFE WELL LIVED

A psychologist focuses his attention squarely on men in society in this guide.

Journeyman, a quaint, somewhat archaic word, takes on new meaning in Daloisio’s expansive exploration of the literal journey of a man in the modern world. The author takes a deep dive into his own life; he exposes his feelings and frailties with a genuine candor that is likely intended to get other men to unapologetically admit their vulnerabilities. Daloisio weaves his personal story into chapters that are heavy on psychology but instructive rather than clinical. Beginning with a chapter entitled “The Story of You,” the book opens with a discussion of persona, “the hidden self” and “the unknown self,” transitioning to the “four archetypes of the masculine psyche.” While such jargon may be intimidating to some, the author is careful to define all of these terms in layperson’s language, using solid examples for clarification. In a man’s journey, writes Daloisio, he must cope with his “inner versus outer selves,” both of which are covered in significant detail. Additional concepts that appear with appropriate explanations include “voices of the reactive mindset” and “moments of truth.” Perhaps most important, though, are the author’s prescriptions for personal improvement. For example, he writes insightfully about self-awareness, self-regulation, mindfulness, self-respect, “your inner guidance system,” and the growth mindset. When discussing transformation, Daloisio lays out a helpful 12-step process designed to steer readers through positive change. He also puts forth a unique way of individualizing his counsel, employing a three-part approach to change—a story, a formula, and a framework—“to accommodate varying learning and thinking styles.” The author veers into Buddhist teachings at the end of the book, but not without a purpose, aiming to illustrate a man’s contemporary odyssey via 10 stages defined by a 12th-century Zen master. In closing, Daloisio again references his personal challenges, noting that his transformative experiences formed “the impetus to dig deeper, to learn, to practice, to teach others.” The author’s heartfelt revelations lend a very human aspect to the manual, helping to reassure those men who might find the paths of their own journeys difficult.

Perceptive and wise self-improvement advice.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-63299-474-5

Page Count: 234

Publisher: River Grove Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 20

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?

more