Heartfelt testimony of an arduous search for self-affirmation that will appeal to fellow seekers.

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THE WAY OF BEING LOST

A ROAD TRIP TO MY TRUEST SELF

A candid chronicle of determined self-transformation.

In 2011, one month before she turned 49, Price (Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, 1999, etc.) realized, not for the first time, that she was miserable. Although she was a successful designer, living in Santa Fe with a woman she loved, she felt burdened by a “colossal workload and industrial-strength work ethic” that left her stressed and anxious. Desperately unhappy, she decided to leave behind her career and relationship to embark on a journey of self-discovery. As the author recounts her spiritual quest, she discovers that the only time she felt joy was when she traveled around the world talking with fans of her late father, the actor Vincent Price, and giving inspirational talks. “I felt the joy of adventure, new encounters, meaningful connections,” she writes. But that joy eluded her in everyday life. Reading inspirational books and attending a “transformational speaking workshop” taught her that she could generate joy through practice and sharing. Besides giving talks, she conveyed her message of joy through a blog that helped her to create “a community of fellow joy practitioners.” Much of this memoir focuses on Price’s parents, as she looks back to her childhood to examine the deep roots of her fears and self-doubt. She adored her doting father, whom she—and others—remembers as loving, generous, and joyful. However, her relationship with her exacting, demanding mother was far different. Her mother took every opportunity to demean her only child and make her feel unworthy and untalented. “I learned my fear of being not good enough from my mother,” she admits. When Price told her mother that she was a lesbian, her mother’s horrified response resulted in a three-year estrangement. Discovering the religious perspective of interspirituality proved to be decisive in Price’s growth and healing, and she offers a five-step process to help others “release qualities that may once have served us but no longer do.”

Heartfelt testimony of an arduous search for self-affirmation that will appeal to fellow seekers.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-486-81605-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Ixia Press/Dover Publications

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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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

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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