Skip to main content

Unlimiting You


Unlimiting You



Randy Spelling (In Flow Books 2015, Trade Paperback) 265 pages, $17.99 cover price


For San Francisco Book Review

In about five hours from the time I finish writing this review, I'm going to be interviewing Randy Spelling about this book, Unlimiting You. Generally speaking I don't prepare questions for a podcast because I'm lazy as hell I prefer a conversation to occur organically, as though the interview subject and I are two people who end up sat next to one another at a fundraising dinner. This time around, I do know what that first question will be: How did your previous career as an actor inform your current work as a Life Coach and author? Here is why I think that question works and my reasons for it very much are the rationale behind this review.

Unlimiting You is not just another self-help book. Yes, there are the chapter-ending suggested exercises that when completed will absolutely assist the reader in removing various blocks in the human psyche. What separates Spelling's book from the masses though is his strong sense of character and narrative. In many important ways Unlimiting You reads like a movie. And that is a good thing.

What Spelling understands as a writer is that to really engage a reader in a subject, that reader must become invested in it. And what are we most fascinated by, from the time our Mums or Dads start reading us our first bedtime stories? We want to hear about interesting people who do interesting things. Spelling fills that need in two ways. First, he is open without being cloying in regards to his own life story. He is the son of the late television producer Aaron Spelling, has fought addictions, has had careers which have not worked out, and now is successfully assisting others. He can look any client in the eye and honestly say, 'I understand what you're going through because I've been through similar.'

The second part of his narrative technique is through Spelling's artfully told summaries of the lives of friends, acquaintances and colleagues. He recognizes, without clubbing the reader over the head with it, that people who will pick up a book like Unlimiting You are probably feeling isolated, alone, even drowning in their own lives; treading water with no shore to be seen. Within those life summaries, a great choice Spelling makes is to include a couple that don't have happy endings! A friend of his has a dream to market flavored popcorn but a work colleague points out all the obstacles, so the idea goes on the scrap heap. Telling that story in this book is such a smart choice. See, we modern civilized people are clad in an armor of cynicism. Everyone is metaphorically from the Show Me state of Missouri. Hence, if all the life stories presented had happy endings, we paradoxically would be much less likely to believe in Randy Spelling's methods.

Coming back to that interview question, I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that Spelling confirms that acting was a great help to Life Coaching. Acting, or at least good acting requires the ability to listen, to relate and to project a clear meaning to an audience. In his book Unlimiting You, Randy Spelling proves himself as a fantastic actor who happens to now work in a different field. This is an excellent book that will make a positive difference in your life.

Be seeing you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Blocks by Karl Parkinson

The Blocks

Karl Parkinson (New Binary Press 2016, Trade Paperback) 274 pages, cover price N/A

There's a tremendous irony in our lives you know, and it is one as large and predominant as the oxygen we breathe yet equally as invisible, equally ignored; an irony as imperceptible as the blood within our veins that itself only comes to our notice when the skin breaks and the blood trickles free before we hide the wound with a bandage and secure the blood back where it belongs. That irony is this: Our most basic desire, expressed in equal parts of hope and fear, is that we want to continue to live. And why? Because we want our individual lives to be different than what they are.
Karl Parkinson's first novel, The Blocks is a mad, tragic, stylish and daring exploration into that self-same need to survive and yet to change. The Blocks of the title themselves are neither those of the prison nor a child's alphabet; at least not literally although the reader may rightly infer those meta…

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Nutshell
Ian McEwan (Knopf Canada edition 2016, Hard Cover) 197 pages, $29.95 cover price
We have to talk about the concept first. Oh I had a long and lively internal debate about it, you can be sure of that. After all, all books have concepts that we accept without too much fuss – talking animals, sentient corpses, thought-filled trees, the whole Harrod's bought stuffed menagerie of Winnie the Pooh carrying on like a picnic gathering of the British Women's Institute with special invited guests from the Royal Society of St George – we accept all of those without too much fuss. I've even admitted to sniffing up a tear or two over The Brave Little Toaster, so if one can be moved by a bloody kitchen appliance then why not a sentient foetus as the central character of Ian McEwan's Nutshell?It probably won't surprise you that I have a theory to go with that, slightly more substantial than an amuse-bouche if not quite a meal in itself. My thinking is that we go with the ta…

White and Red Cherries by Tanja Tuma

White and Red Cherries: A Slovenian Civil War Novel

Tanja Tuma (Self-published 2016, Trade paperback) 301 pages with glossary and bibliography, cover price n/a
It dawned on me like a thunder strikes a tree: this petite young girl embodies a mission, her reason to exist. Every one of us embodies his mission by what he does. We are what we do. Not chemical elements, but our deeds define our being. We are neither the faith we trust in God, nor the love we give and take. The least of what we are is the genetic code we get from our parents, which in turn lives on in our descendants. No. We are what we do at this moment in this bloody world. Our deeds can defy eternity. They can mirror our will and freedom forever. Those words are thoughts by the elderly Martin, born during the Second World War and raised by the partisan heroine Valeria Batič as her son, when his natural mother Ada quite literally tossed her baby from a train window to Valeria as the train pulled out for Vienna. Ada you see w…