For devotees of both Dyer and self-help books, an inspirational account of the essence of the man behind Your Erroneous...

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW

A self-help guru’s reflections on how he became who he is.

Self-empowerment is one key to success in life, and nowhere is this more evident than in Dyer's (21 Days to Master Success and Inner Peace, 2012, etc.) rich unfolding of his life stories. From some of his earliest childhood memories in the early 1940s to the present, Dyer takes readers on a nearly year-by-year trip through the events in his life that led him to write more than 40 books and undertake other projects related to self-development. Each action, he writes, often directed by a divine force, put him one step further on the path of becoming the man he knew he was meant to become. For years, he questioned the people and books influencing him, but he continued to follow an inner knowledge that connected him spiritually and emotionally to the world around him. Dyer writes, "It no longer takes years for me to have this insight—everything and everyone are connected to each other and to the Tao or the universal one mind from which all things originate and return." Dyer addresses the fears and setbacks that he encountered along the way, including the need to find his absentee father, whose abandonment filled Dyer with anger for years. Only at his gravesite was the author able to forgive the man and "[cleanse his] soul of the toxicity that living with internal rage brings." Every emotional experience was another pivot point for Dyer, and from them, he produced his best-selling books, audiotapes and lectures. The author’s reflections on the twists and turns of his authentic life reveal the power inherent in each of us to have the same joyful existence, though many of his pronouncements may be too far out there for many readers—e.g., “There is no time; 1968 and 2018 are all one, even though our body-mind sees them as separated by 50 years.”

For devotees of both Dyer and self-help books, an inspirational account of the essence of the man behind Your Erroneous Zones and other self-help titles.

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4019-4403-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Hay House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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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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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 Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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