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Hungry Heart

This Hungry Spirit: Your Need for Basic Goodness by C. Clinton Sidle (Larson Publications)

C. Clinton Sidle is a recognized expert in consulting, leadership training, and human potential development.   This Hungry Spirit is a departure from his previously published works that focused on strategic planning and achieving personal and organizational greatness.   Instead, Sidle uses his personal journey through difficult times as the structure for sharing the skills needed to make it past the rough spots we all face.   (The original subtitle of this book was Seeking Happiness in the Heart of Discontent.)

This book is well-organized.   There are exercises within each chapter designed to engage the reader and bring to life the concepts being taught.   Key phrases, pearls of wisdom, are highlighted in sidebars that accompany the text.   Sidle draws from a wide variety of resources to make his pitch for mindfulness and introspection.   His approach seems best suited to a reader who has not yet explored the concepts of meditation, keeping a journal and opening one’s heart.

It’s easy to picture the author leading workshops and drumming up enthusiasm for the topic at hand.   He conveys a sense of importance and necessity when describing the steps that can lead the reader to a calmer, more fulfilling, life.   However, Sidle’s writing is a bit labored.   This reviewer sensed that he would rather conduct an interactive workshop than be restricted to mere words on a page.   His message is bold and somewhat aggressive.   The feeding of the hungry spirit becomes a mission with goals and objectives, not unlike the leadership skills and human potential topics he is known for in business and military circles.

A counterpoint to This Hungry Spirit can be found in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.   Many of the concepts are quite similar; however, the tone and mood created in The Power of Now is highly suggestive rather than direct and blunt as is the case with This Hungry Spirit.   It will fall to the reader to decide which approach is likely to be the most effective for his/her personal needs.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was received from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME).


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Love the Place You’re In

At Home With Laurie Ann – A Decorator’s Guide:  Turn the Place You Live Into A Home You Love

Hardcover, 224 pages, $29.95 (Laurie Ann Publishing Inc.)

At a very early age, professional Interior Designer Laurie Ann McMillin Ray developed her skill for analyzing personal style and combining it with a winning selection of design elements.   Her father was a home builder in southern California.   Laurie Ann realized that her ideas for decorating his subdivision model homes surpassed those of the seasoned professionals in the business.   To her dad’s credit, Laurie Ann was turned loose to express her ideas which enhanced the quality of the product he was selling.

Fast forward more than a few years and we encounter a businesswoman who truly knows her stuff.   Laurie Ann’s book is part expert advice, part girlfriend sharing and a whole lot of warm comfort that the reader will want to adapt to his or her own house in order to make it a home.   As Laurie Ann sees it, a home is a gathering place where every day is ideally celebrated in an environment conductive to fostering calm, joy and/or energetic sharing among friends and family.

This reviewer was most appreciative of the luscious color schemes and the thoughtful use of fabrics that create cohesive settings.   Don’t be misled by the amount of detail within each photograph.   The idea is to come away with a sense of what you like and how it might enhance your own design creativity.   By the way, Laurie Ann operates several retail establishments in southern California that are sure to spark a reader’s nesting instinct.

Most enjoyable.   Highly recommended.

This review was written by Ruta Arellano.   A review copy was provided by Author Marketing Experts (AME).

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