A deeply personal, persuasive account of discovering hidden spiritual and mental potential, though not for the uninitiated.

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THE YOU IN YOU

UNVEILING THE YOU THAT'S HIDDEN FROM VIEW

A guide to getting in touch with the astral self and navigating out-of-body experiences with an autobiographical, Christian focus.

Describing himself as an “out-of-body traveler and explorer,” Hunt’s debut work details the distinctions between the physical world and “one governed by our thoughts and subject to our beliefs and emotions.” The book comprises four sections, beginning with a comprehensive rundown of the attributes of the spiritual self and its capabilities, supported by a brief background of scholarship surrounding out-of-body experiences and some of the author’s personal experiences with the phenomenon. The book then explores the unique abilities of the astral body, including communicating with the divine, relating to others more deeply, bringing about changes in the physical realm (particularly relating to weather and illness), exploring past lives, and even summoning visions of the past and future. From there, the focus shifts to an examination of the hostile forces that the author believes are working against humanity’s spiritual growth, among them the ghosts, demons, and extraterrestrials, which the power of God reveals to be nefarious illusions of mankind. The book includes various approaches to bringing together the physical and metaphysical selves, establishing links between the astral self and Scripture, and outlining concrete approaches to “inducing a trance state, where the physical body is asleep and the mind is awake”). Largely drawn from personal experience, Hunt’s book will appeal to readers interested in exploring the intersections of New-Age spirituality and Christianity and is bolstered by an enthusiastic, descriptive writing style (“In that love, I sensed a presence, another being, another entity; this presence had entered along with the rush of love that now infused my consciousness, as though my consciousness was a house, my home, and I was now entertaining an unexpected visitor”). The second half of the book feels somewhat underdeveloped; these sections are noticeably shorter. Even so, the numerous and intricately detailed accounts of astral exploration and past-life experiences (transcending race, gender, and historical period) are sure to engage those with a comprehensive base of prior knowledge on the subject, though they may prove a bit too otherworldly for some. 

A deeply personal, persuasive account of discovering hidden spiritual and mental potential, though not for the uninitiated.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2017

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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