An energetic, optimistic, and worthwhile blueprint for adding mindfulness to daily life.

THE WHEEL OF WELLNESS

7 HABITS OF HEALTHY, HAPPY PEOPLE

A debut guide offers a multipronged plan for improving health and well-being.

The wheel at the heart of Martin’s slim book has “community” at its hub. Twenty years of wide-ranging reading and experiences have left the author with the strong conviction that community—friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors—is the crucial center of gravity for a healthy, well-grounded life. “Human beings are social animals,” she writes. “Community is where it starts and where it ends.” The rest of the wheel—the different parts of the hub circling that center—is made up of the six ingredients that “add up to optimum emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness.” Those items are “Purpose,” “Mindset,” “Sleep,” “Constitution,” “Lifestyle,” and “Food.” Over the course of the manual, Martin elaborates on each of these components, first giving her readers several tips on how to build the kind of community that sustains those elements. After that, each ingredient is discussed at length—and in surprising detail for so short a book. She takes readers through the basis of a sound diet, the outlines of a “sleep survival tool kit” (citing, for instance, the current figures of chronic sleep deprivation in the United States and the deleterious health effects associated with that), and alternate methods of understanding health paradigms, such as India’s Ayurvedic lifestyle. She delivers all of this advice with a breezy, optimistic tone that’s immediately inviting to readers, especially those who may be feeling guilty or touchy about neglecting such basics as “seek out activities you enjoy,” “get out in nature,” and “walk, walk, walk.” Some of this advice is too simplistic—“You are what you think,” and “Do what makes you happy.” But most of the counsel achieves a very pleasing mix of practical and aspirational. In addition, the guide is well designed: The visuals very much help to break down the main points.

An energetic, optimistic, and worthwhile blueprint for adding mindfulness to daily life.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-03-911752-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A refreshing celebrity memoir focused not strictly on the self but on a much larger horizon.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

WILL

One of Hollywood’s biggest stars delivers a memoir of success won through endless, relentless work and self-reckoning.

“My imagination is my gift, and when it merges with my work ethic, I can make money rain from the heavens.” So writes Smith, whose imagination is indeed a thing of wonder—a means of coping with fear, an abusive father with the heart of a drill instructor, and all manner of inner yearnings. The author’s imagination took him from a job bagging ice in Philadelphia to initial success as a partner in the Grammy-winning rap act DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Smith was propelled into stardom thanks to the ministrations of Quincy Jones, who arranged an audition in the middle of his own birthday party, bellowing “No paralysis through analysis!” when Smith begged for time to prepare. The mantra—which Jones intoned 50-odd times during the two hours it took for the Hollywood suits to draw up a contract for the hit comedy series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—is telling, for hidden within this memoir lies a powerful self-help book. For Smith, all of life is a challenge in which one’s feelings are largely immaterial. “I watched my father’s negative emotions seize control of his ample intellect and cause him over and over again to destroy beautiful parts of our family,” he writes, good reason for him to sublimate negativity in the drive to get what he wanted—money, at first, and lots of it, which got him in trouble with the IRS in the early 1990s. Smith, having developed a self-image that cast him as a coward, opines that one’s best life is lived by facing up to the things that hold us back. “I’ve been making a conscious effort to attack all the things that I’m scared of,” he writes, adding, “And this is scary.” It’s a good lesson for any aspiring creative to ponder—though it helps to have Smith’s abundant talent, too.

A refreshing celebrity memoir focused not strictly on the self but on a much larger horizon.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984877-92-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 19

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