cover image Percolate:


Let Your Best Self Filter Through. Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino. Hay House, $15.95 (328p) ISBN 978-1-4019-4298-4

The suggestions for changing your life offered in this book by Hamilton-Guarino, founder of multimedia company The Best Ever You Network, strike a winning if overly familiar note. The author's spin on well-worn maxims%E2%80%94"Direct your thoughts in a positive direction"; "Keep seeking what is meaningful to you"; "Learn to say no"%E2%80%94is to organize them into an ingenious extended coffee metaphor. Thus, "love yourself" becomes "learning to like your own blend." In the "percolate process," you discover how to "expresso yourself" and the importance of "self-esteam." It's get-comfy, girlfriend-to-girlfriend advice, and Hamilton-Guarino's anecdotes and brainstorms suggest she would be a good friend if you were stressed about buying a new dress. "Start by trying on the craziest, ugliest dress you can find," she advises. "I initially wrote this chapter with a purple crayon on a napkin," she reveals at another point. And then there was the time her father was about to undergo a dangerous medical procedure and she visited him wearing a poncho like a superhero's cape. Whenever Hamilton-Guarino follows her own advice to "be yourself," the book is charming, though she relies too much on the tried-and-tested formula of the self-help genre. (Apr. 2014)