"We could all benefit from learning how to reduce our stresses, to let go of our emotional blocks, and to embrace life's joy," writes Joan Lunden, cohost of "Good Morning America" for almost 20 years. In Wake-Up Calls: Making the Most out of Every Day (Regardless of What Life Throws You), she shares the winning strategies that have worked for her.
Lunden offers tidbits and personal stories to give her spin on enthusiasm, goal-setting, self-esteem, change, stress, parenting, aging, and more. She includes sections by various others who contribute their wisdom: Tony Robbins, Ellen McGrath, Zig Ziglar, Brian Luke Seaward, Jonathan Kabat-Zinn, Deepak Chopra, and even Joan Rivers. Numerous quotes from folks as diverse as Saint Francis of Assisi, Sir Winston Churchill, Martha Washington, Charles Shultz, Lily Tomlin, and Irving Berlin pepper the book (a favorite: "Big deal! I'm used to dust!"--Erma Bombeck's requested gravestone epitaph). Dozens of photos of Lunden doing athletic activities and posing with loved ones illustrate the chapters.
This book is an improvement over Joan Lunden's A Bend in the Road Is Not the End of the Road: 10 Positive Principles for Dealing with Change because here she offers helpful lessons and tips. Readers might still feel that the lights shine too brightly on her as the central character, as in the earlier book. But if you like Lunden and miss seeing her on TV, you'll enjoy this book. --Joan Price
For those in need of a self-help book full of aphorisms by a former talk-show host, this is for you. As her fans will know, Lunden, formerly cohost of Good Morning America, has been down this road before; her first foray into the self-help field, A Bend in the Road Is Not the End of the Road (1998), covers similar territory. Why Lunden, happily married for the second time, the mother of three lovely daughters, and, as she proudly proclaims, the president of the Women's Supermarket Network (which will allow her to talk to shoppers from giant screens above the aisles) feels she can champion those battling adversity is not quite clear. Over the years, however, she has filled notebooks (apparently tons of them) with such sayings as "Never build a case against yourself" or "There is little traffic on the extra mile"; these nuggets are scattered profusely throughout the book along with pearls of wisdom from inspirational motivators such as Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. Lunden seems to save family photos as conscientiously as she does sappy quotations, and she fills up her book with a healthy selection of them. The pictures are innocuous enough, but Lunden's writing is utterly banal. (The other contributors, Robbins, et al., do this kind of thing far better than Lunden does.) Still, Lunden retains a following from her television days, and she is certain to be making the talk-show circuit when this book hits the stores. Be prepared for the inevitable. Ilene Cooper
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