Tuesday, January 27, 2009

McGraw, Robin. What's Age Got to Do With It? Living Your Happiest & Healthiest Life

Thomas Nelson Publishers. Dec. 2008. c218p. ISBN 978-1-4002-0214-0. $24.99.

Here Robin McGraw, “New York Times”- bestselling author (Inside My Heart; From My Heart to Yours) and wife of the celebrated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, presents her way for living her healthiest, happiest life so far. Experiencing the untimely death of her mother, who suddenly died at fifty-eight years old from a heart attack caused by heart disease, at thirty-two years old, McGraw decided not to relive her mother’s life of self-neglect. Believing that by taking care of herself she was not being selfish but rather the best wife, mother, and woman that she could be, she chose to live her healthiest life possible and thereby in her view, her happiest. In this self-help guide that does not purport to provide professional advice or services—in fact, there are two cautionary disclaimers printed in this book, one at the front, on the verso of the title page, and one at the back of the book-- McGraw imparts worthwhile information to other women concerning aging, fitness, nutrition, skin care, menopause, hair, makeup, fashion, faith, and more. Each of the aforementioned main topics includes McGraw’s experiences, knowledge, and tips. In question-and-answer formats at the end of each chapter, members of McGraw’s team of experts, who have assisted her-- a personal trainer-nutritionist, aesthetician, pharmacist, doctors, psychologist, celebrity make-up artist, fashion guru, and hair colorist-- answer questions that her fans may have asked her over the years. Four pages of endnotes follow the text, which unfortunately, lacks a bibliography, appendices, index, pictures, diagrams, and other features that could have added to the content. While this book is dedicated to “every woman … who seeks to live with dignity and grace,” many women may not be inclined to read it. Marketed toward, but not entirely intended for middle- aged and slightly younger women, this publication constitutes a personal and general as opposed to “authoritative” and objective resource on the subjects presented within its pages, particularly since it seems to be more focused on McGraw’s “way” or “brand.” Despite its focus, many readers may find this book readable, engaging, inspirational, and useful. Recommended for general readers and most public library collections serving the needs of women-- C. A. Lajos