A useful and insightful guide to dealing with being fired from a job.

INVOLUNTARY EXIT

A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO THRIVING AFTER BEING FIRED

A debut business book offers recommendations for people—women in particular—who have been fired.

In this guide, Merle focuses her attention on women but notes that the advice about grappling with and moving on from being fired is applicable to people of all genders. Using the stories of several women fired from jobs as executives at for-profit and nonprofit organizations as the core of the narrative, the author explains to readers how to react immediately and in the long term to a dismissal, how to process the related emotions, and how to position themselves for success in a new role when they are ready to move forward in their careers. The book combines hard-nosed practical advice (“Do not tie your value to the severance package. It’s a negotiation, not a value statement”) with a nuanced look at the psychology of organizational loyalty and the grief that results from the end of a professional relationship. Merle also discusses what she calls “being faux-fired,” or pushed into a position in which resignation is the only option, and the challenges of sharing the news of being dismissed with relatives, friends, and colleagues. The concluding chapters address the logistical, professional, and personal aspects of applying for new jobs after being fired. The book is well written and fast-moving, treating a complex and emotionally charged subject with sensitivity. The anecdotes that make up the core of the volume are well chosen and compelling without becoming melodramatic. The manual is clearly written for an audience of high-achieving professionals (“You’re the woman who worked fourteen-hour days, then went to the gym and answered emails while running on the treadmill”), but much of the counsel, particularly about coping with emotions in preparation for shifting to a new role, is applicable to less-privileged readers as well. Merle does a solid job of steering readers through a complex and challenging process, and the book is easy to digest, with a substantial amount of information presented in a relatively concise text.

A useful and insightful guide to dealing with being fired from a job.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-64742-309-4

Page Count: 168

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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

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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

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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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