Choosing Truth: Living an Authentic Life

Cole, Harriette. Choosing Truth: Living an Authentic Life. S. & S. Feb. 2003. c.304p. ISBN 0-684-87311-7. $22.

A former editor at Essence magazine, Cole (How To Be: Contemporary Etiquette for African Americans) hopes to “inspire you to continue forward on your path to you.” If that sounds vague, it is. Readers must find their true identity via personal transformation, she argues; this requires active participation, delving, probing, and a lot of hard work, none of which is spelled out here. Chapters titled like Boy Scout maxims (e.g., do your best, work wisely) gently explore different aspects of changing one’s life (e.g., have fun, take time to focus) in order to identify one’s personal truth. Overall, this book has some nice ideas, as when it endorses journaling to “track your life’s evolution,” but the lack of concrete steps makes it useful only for determined self-starters. Libraries should instead consider Martha Beck’s worthwhile Finding Your Own North Star.

This review appeared in Library Journal 128.3 on February 15, 2003 (p.156); the galley was shredded on September 7, 2012.

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