Book Reviews

Shatter the Myth of Perfection and Embrace All That You Really Are
By Tony Raiten-D’Antonio

What makes a real woman?  According to the author, a real woman is a process; women are emotional, empathetic, courageous, honest, generous, grateful, ethical and flexible. They experience pain, find love and have lives filled with meaning. D’Antonio, psychotherapist and professor, devotes a separate chapter called a  “Velveteen Principle” to each of these attributes.

The author starts off by discussing the dichotomy and universal reality dictating that women, as young girls, must devote time and energy to being beautiful and sexy rather than learning how to be themselves. Our culture promises happiness and security to a woman who meets the standards for beauty and behavior.

The “Princess Paradigm” dictates the generic version of the ideal woman as tall, thin, blonde and blemish free. She is also not overly intelligent or intimidating, nor does she express herself well. This creates the Perfect Object Woman. The POW is one who has been deprived of the freedom to create her life.

The Reality Crisis is the moment when a woman realizes she has sacrificed too much for an unworthy ideal. Drawing from the teachings of two fictional characters, the Velveteen Rabbit and Skin Horse, as well as stories and examples, we hear sage advice that substantiates and encourages all those wonderful attributes of going beyond the generic norm. Ultimately, this book helps you find your “real self” and enables you to find and share your true inner beauty and intelligence.

Published by Health Communications, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Accessing the Power of the Divine Feminine
By Daniela Schenker

Kuan Yin is the oriental goddess of compassion, mercy and healing. She has superhuman powers to save lives, make peace and pave the way to spiritual enlightenment. She is a bodhisattva — a being who refrains from entering Nirvana in order to come to the aid of others.

This book will help you connect with the goddess of compassion. It is strewn with images, meditations and mantras, as well as lovely pictures and illustrations to aid you in your journey. The author is a translator, astrologer, a student of Asian traditions, and a Feng Shui consultant. She introduces us to Kuan Yin as she is found in both Eastern and Western traditions, including outlines of the theosophy, or “divine wisdom” from universal cultures.

Drawings and manifestations, named “Images for Contemplations,” follow so that you may deepen your experience. Included are famous stories and legends about the goddess, female idols and incarnations that are very similar to Kuan Yin as well as information about the territory, birthplace and dwelling place of the goddesses.

Finally, we are shown how to incorporate Kuan Yin into our daily lives, by creating a sacred place where we can visualize and tap into her consciousness and healing. By doing so, we can become a gateway to these qualities for others.

Published by Sounds True, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Awakening A Woman’s Inner Knowing for Self-Healing
By Meredith L. Young-Sowers

The author, a spiritual counselor, wrote this book from the viewpoint that each of us is destined to awaken our internal spirit and personal light. As this happens, we have a responsibility to share our experience and to help and support others on their own path to awakening.

All healing is a process of waking to our innate goodness, our potential and our means of living a complete and fulfilling life. This book discusses the basic art and science of healing, how to give yourself the best advice, how to nourish your intellect and find your social and spiritual community. It goes on to consider the mind as a healer as well as a critic, and how to claim the natural, new seasons of our life.

Women, in particular, have a tendency to care for others while ignoring their own needs. They often struggle with their own emotional, spiritual and physical balance, as well as illness while paying more attention to those other than themselves.

Each chapter contains several sections to guide you in reflection and preparation for the journey to capture or recapture balance. There are also healing practices called “Attitude Shifts” and “Activities” that help you create a plan to enhance the flow of energy and support for your entire being. Whatever type of short- or long-term healing you seek, all of these ideas and exercises will help.

Published by New World Library, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


The Effortless Path To Discovering Your Destiny
By Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood

Are you seeking to uncover your passion and purpose in life? Do you have a personal destiny? How do you discover your true passion?

This book acknowledges how we all want to feel our life is purposeful, and that passion for what we do enhances our life. With examples and exercises, we are guided through discovering the key to what is truly important to us, what we ultimately want in life, how to attain it, and why it is critical to our overall enjoyment and health.

The authors are transformational leaders who have interviewed and helped thousands to learn the principles leading to a passionate life. They believe results are not created on the surface of thinking or doing, but by going deep within and tapping into the unbounded reservoir of creativity and intelligence within each of us. Everything necessary for a fulfilled life — personal, emotional, spiritual and physical — is worth doing as long as there is some element of fun and enjoyment in it.

The Attwoods also understand that passions change and morph over time. They believe that if you understand yourself on a deeper level, you will be better able to live life with more intensity and passion, and keep on doing so as your goals continue to change.

Published by Hudson Street Press, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Opening Your Spiritual Channels For Success and Fulfillment
By Dr. Zhi Gang Sha

“Soul Communication” is a key to priceless treasures, including the opening of your spiritual channels, receiving teachings from the highest level of the Soul Work, being in the presence of an extraordinary frequency connected with communications and much more. You may use this book to understand soul communication, learn how to use it, and apply it to every aspect of your life.

Soul communication is essentially the ultimate form of communication. It is present in human life, as well as in animate and inanimate things, including the earth itself. It is a practice, knowledge and discipline full of secrets, insights and perspectives. It is not limited to those on a spiritual journey, but is open to all humanity and a special gift to each individual. Your soul has many lifetimes and even if you are karma-free, there are still lessons to learn and soul memories to heal.

Dr. Sha is an M.D. in China and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine who has trained in the most advanced cellular healing science now practiced, and is involved in breakthrough research on the effect of spirituality on the human system. He explains the essence of soul communication, which you may use as an aide in your individual spiritual journey, for healing, for teaching and for service to others. This book is a healing and blessing tool to serve you.

Published by Heaven’s Library Publication Corp., this book is available at your local bookstore or through

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Revolutionize Your Life Before The Next Crash
By Todd Levinson

You are hereby invited to truly comprehend the past, present and future of human history. This book attempts to piece together a clear and profound picture of our world, explaining what defines us both individually and as a society. It explains what is now causing, and why we will soon be facing, a national economic crisis.

By understanding the causes, you will be able to make informed choices and find solutions that can be instituted in your own life as well as in society. These items are brought into perspective so we can understand the past, resolve the present and avert those problems of the future. Finally, the last sections focus on your individual life as it relates to the larger collective experience.

The author, who holds a degree in psychology and a PhD in Clinical Hypnotherapy, also discusses what he calls the building forces of change, an optimism that is deceiving, the overall “grand” cycle of change, our human divide, our educational challenges, the illusion of conflict, as well as how these tie into our choices and overall collective attitudes.

The goal is to teach you to learn the quality of your life and the state of the world as relating to discovering and fulfilling your unique life mission. The many discussions provide us with thought-provoking tools in order to reach that goal. They guide you along a path of ideas and activities meant to return you to a self that will allow you to embrace, live by, and thrive in, our current world.

Published by Wisdom Press, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Finding the Deep River Within
A Woman’s Guide to Recovering Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life
By Abby Seixas

Busy women in our society suffer from doing and giving to others most of the time. With endless multi-tasking and a list of things to do every growing, women sacrifice their inner desires and needs constantly, making life seem just an endless series of “should do” and “didn’t yet do” chores that author Seixas says cause women to miss out on life altogether.

In her book, “Finding the Deep River Within,” Seixas supplies practical tools and action steps women can take to make a meaningful shift in their thinking and lifestyle. She details in each chapter how there is an art to slowing down — to help them set boundaries on the demands, get back in touch with their own inner needs, beliefs and desires, and reclaim their own “Deep River Within.”

Whose life is it anyway? Abby Seixas addresses this question in a loving, practical approach based on her twenty years’ experience as a psychotherapist who coaches women with tools and proven methods to reclaim their lives. Including her own experiences as a mother and multi-tasker, she offers a step-by-step proven process to help women make contact with their forgotten inner life and nourish the soul that exists beneath layers of a frenzied, demanding life.

Simple and effective exercises follow each chapter. This is a perfect book for those who yearn to do something just for themselves and to reclaim their lives.

Published by Jossey-Bass, this book is available at your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


The Natural Superwoman
By Uzzi Reiss, M.D., Ob/Gyn and Yfat Reiss Gendell

These authors describe their book as “The Scientifically-Backed Program for Feeling Great, Looking Younger and Enjoying Amazing Energy at Any Age.” A cutting-edge approach to health, “The Natural Superwoman” provides the most current research available on safe alternatives to supplemental hormones and the benefits of bio-identical hormones.

Dr. Reiss rose to national prominence with his pertinent advice in Suzanne Somer’s own book “The Sexy Years” in which he shared his philosophy on proper nutrition, hormone balance and lifestyle adjustments. Written with his daughter, Yfat Reiss Gendell, this book would make the perfect health book for all women. By explaining the difference between hormones used in HRT and biomedical hormones, the authors clear the controversies and confusion of reports from earlier studies on hormone replacement.

For each hormone, Dr. Reiss details why the hormone is essential and describes the benefits and potential side effects as well as specifics on doses. In addition, the authors cover everything women need to know for complete well-being such as nutrition, fitness and emotional advice.

Data in the book is based on many scientific studies conducted at established research facilities and published in medical journals which Dr. Reiss lists at Women can provide the data to their own physician to assist them with implementing the recommendations.

Published by Avery/Penguin Group, this book is available at your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


Whispers from the Heart
Messages from Mother
By Laurie Seligman

Author Laurie Seligman believes that everything happens for a reason and everything happens the way it is supposed to happen. Why does not matter —  what you do about it is what makes all the difference.

She applies this philosophy to her process of personal transformation from facing grief, loss and other unexpected life challenges to healing and peace.

She reflects on the values she was taught while living through it all and the perspective she gained, such as cherishing time as a gift, practicing conscious breathing, gaining power from pausing, feeling her self worth to enable change, respecting her intuition, and becoming a better listener to her own inner voice. Ultimately this perspective leads to manifesting the life she longed for and was meant to live.

“Whispers from the Heart”  is a personal journal detailing healing gifts and messages that influenced and inspired the author into self acceptance and appreciation. These gifts came from spending time with nature, dolphins and whales, and loving support from her parents, especially her mother. Her story offers comfort, optimism and insight to those facing life’s challenges.

Published by iUniverse, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis

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