Tag Archives: read by the author

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Orloff-Ecstasy-of-Surrender-cover

The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life by Judith Orloff, MD (Harmony Books, $26.00, 432 pages)

“Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

Judith Orloff is a well-known New York Times best-selling author (Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy) who has earned significant credentials in the field of psychiatry. Orloff is also an assistant clinical professor at UCLA’s medical school. And yet, her nearly breathless and exuberant rush of ideas crammed into the first chapters of The Ecstasy of Surrender read like a girlish first attempt at writing.

Once into her topic and warmed up, Dr. Orloff settles down to a calm, deliberate pace while explaining the ways to self-diagnose one’s own limited behavior. The layout of the chapters is a standard explanatory set up with a questionnaire and practical advice that follows. There are lists, bullet points and quotes throughout.

The reader is encouraged to pick and choose topics from among the 12 surrenders (The First Surrender: Redefining True Success, Power, and Happiness) featured in the book. Each chapter feels like a workshop. Readers would be wise to explore the chapters they may initially deem not applicable to them, as there’s solid information and advice to be gained.

Ecstasy of Surrender (audible audio)

Unless you’re a hermit, you will be in contact with other people and some of them may benefit from reading or listening to this book. It’s clearly meant to be shared.

Well recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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Piece Of My Heart

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 400 pages; Macmillan Audio, $27.99, 13 hours and 42 minutes)

Author Jane Green created a serious and gripping novel when she wrote Another Piece of My Heart.   Moreover, when it came to the audio version, she felt compelled to be the narrator.   Green was so committed to the project that she went through the audition process to ensure that hers was the proper voice behind the story.   Let there be no doubt, the voice and the tale are a perfect match.   Never mind that Green has a lovely lilting British accent and her story is set on the West Coast of the U.S.   Maybe it’s the depth of understanding that she brings to her narration.   Who but the author really knows what emotions the characters feel and what they mean to each other?

Actually, there are several narratives offered up within the 11 CD set.   Each one is voiced by Green; however, the person featured shifts from the first character in the novel, Andi, to her older stepdaughter Emily.   This takes place farther along in the story.   This reviewer was a bit weary of Andi’s frustration.   The introduction of Emily’s perspective gave the tale a fresh dimension.

There’s nothing new or remarkable about the situations Andi, Emily, younger sister Sophia or dad, Ethan, find themselves immersed in throughout the story.   Teenagers like Emily have been rebellious for generations and folks who live in Mill Valley, California more often than not fit into the stereotypical suburban blended family.   Stepmothers often find themselves desperate to receive love from their stepchildren.   They may even entertain hopes of having their own babies.

Where Green moves the basics along to a level of superb listening enjoyment is her shifts in point of view from adult to teen.   Although the majority of readers will most likely be adults who can relate to or imagine the heartache and frustration of a blended family, it is younger readers who would be wise to have a listen.   Teens aren’t the only ones who are misunderstood.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.   The audiobook version was purchased by the reviewer’s husband.   Another Piece of My Heart is also available as a Nook Book or Kindle Edition download.

In the United Kingdom, this novel has been released with the title, The Patchwork Marriage.

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Coming Up Next…

A review of Another Piece of My Heart: A Novel by Jane Green.

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A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

Joshilyn Jackson’s new book, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel, was released on January 25, 2012.   Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants, says of Pretty that it’s, “Enthralling!   A heart-thumping mystery, an edge-of-your-seat drama, and a fiercely sweet comedy all at once.”   Jennifer McMahon, the author of Promise Not to Tell labels it, “A clever, hilarious, wild adventure of a mystery that immediately pulls you in.”

Pretty is already a 4.5 star (out of 5) rated book at Barnes & Noble, and a 5 star rated book at Amazon.You can read the first chapter of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty here:

http://www.joshilynjackson.com/A-Grown-Up-Kind-of-Pretty-Excerpt.pdf

Jackson is the author of the earlier bestselling novels Backseat Saints, Gods in Alabama and The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.   You can read our review of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming here:

https://josephsreviews.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/arc-of-a-diver/

Joseph Arellano

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