Pint-sized powerhouse performer and Emmy and Tony award-winner Kristin Chenoweth (A Little Bit Wicked) offers upbeat and heartfelt philosophical musings in I'm No Philosopher, but I Got Thoughts. Much of her philosophy is reminding readers there is rarely perfection: "no one gets through life perfectly in place like a bubble at the center of a carpenter's level," she writes. "Who would even want that?" But there are measures that can be used to help keep one's equilibrium, such as cultivating a circle of supportive friends and creating a lifestyle of self-care. Her Christian faith supports her, but she also discusses thinking beyond spoon-fed dogma and writes: "We should always be ready to question our faith."
Although she usually leans toward humor--"When in doubt: Think WW DOUBLE D! (What would Dolly do?")--Chenoweth also shares her own stories of growing up adopted and dealing with depression and loss. She writes of a longtime friend taking his own life during the Covid-19 quarantine. "The magnitude of this loss laid my bones bare," she writes. "The magnitude of my anger scared me." It took her a while to realize: "Pain is our invitation to the privilege of empathy. And loss--that brutal SOB--is evidence of love."
Her chapter on screwing up includes a hilarious tale of sending a basket of cookies and a note reading "Congratulations!" to what she thought was an event honoring an old friend, only to later find out it was the friend's funeral. This breezy and buoyant self-help guide should find a lot of eager followers. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant