Making One Change for the Better

There are a number of audio books on the market that tell us how to simplify our lives by paring down and doing without. But Mary LoVerde found that throwing everything out works only to a point before we start filling the void. Her idea is to simplify and then make an effort to connect with the people around us. Not only will we calm down, but also we will feel more fulfilled.

She has a point. And she makes it in clear and easy-to-follow steps that she calls "microactions." Instead of writing out a rigid and complicated schedule that includes lots of exercise and a set time to help with your daughter's algebra, she suggests changing one thing. Say, "adopt a policy" to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. It will then be easier to get up and exercise, which will alleviate stress. Which means the kids' homework will seem less daunting. Get the picture?

By retiring a mere 30 minutes earlier than usual, we are less frazzled and more able to connect to our children and be kind to ourselves. Aside from her sensible approach to making important lifestyle changes, LoVerde offers her opinion of self-help books by advocating specific titles she has found helpful. Her writing is sharp, her approach upbeat. She is not a professional narrator, but sounds at ease and is energetic and engaging. The audio, abridged by almost half, contains the most pertinent parts of the book, as most of the expurgated material consists of testimonials and examples.


by Victor N. Davich

Audio Renaissance

Abridged nonfiction; Two cassettes; Length: Three hours; $16.95; Read by Jack Hawkins; Available in bookstores or by calling (800) 452-5589


Meditation, in all its incarnations, is explained so clearly and invitingly you will be hard-pressed not to take off your headset and immediately fall into a half-lotus position. Traditional practice, be it Jewish, Buddhist or Sufi, is explained, along with modern counterparts and variations. The historical and philosophical dimensions, along with medical benefits, factor into this audio, along with a simple and practical guide to get you started.

Instead of the dull lecture you might expect, it is an intellectual smorgasbord designed to help you choose the correct practice. Though this contains much information, it is flawed when compared to the original material. Many people are not going to pick up an audio about meditation unless they are serious about beginning the practice. This offers plenty of information to get you started and whet your appetite. It does not, however, offer as much conclusive information as the book. For instance, the Tibetan Buddhist practice of tonglen is alluded to in the audio but explained fully in the original text. That said, the audio will certainly start you on a daily routine that should help you relax and focus, and be an aid with stress-related medical problems. Narrator Jack Hawkins has fabulous diction, a pleasant voice and an inviting manner. Listeners intent on arming themselves with more knowledge, however, may just want to buy the book after hearing the audio.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World