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Readers will find plain talk and wisdom in DeStefano's guide to life


This is the cover of "A Travel Guide to Life: Transforming Yourself from Head to Soul" by Anthony DeStefano. The book is reviewed by Maureen E. Daly. (CNS)

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"A Travel Guide to Life: Transforming Yourself from Head to Soul" by Anthony DeStefano. Faith Words (New York, 2014). 261 pp., $22.

Don't be put off by the opening tone in Anthony DeStefano's new book, "A Travel Guide to Life." Advice to "Get off your pity-pot!" and "Get moving!" may strike readers as both too harsh and too casual.

But give DeStefano time, and you'll find real wisdom in his chapters on setting goals and bringing order out of chaos, and in his common-sense yet spiritually grounded focus on life's practical challenges.

DeStefano says he set out to write a "how-to" book that would show readers "how to embrace a joyful view of life without being self-delusional" as well as how to keep faith in God and humanity, avoid despair and take practical actions to transform their lives.

This is the work of a mature writer and it is addressed to the adult reader, perhaps even in late adult life. It is a guide for changing life's direction, suitable for those with some life experience.

DeStefano emphasizes the role of free will and self-discipline in living a happy life. He believes we sin, and that guiding principles are not based on feelings but on choices. He tells readers that spiritual well-being begins with three spiritual decisions: to have faith, to repent of our sins and to forgive people when they sin against us.

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