Book Review: ‘Life Simplified: A Transformational Book’ by Nianell disappoints!

I have heard singer Nianell perform, and read the glowing profile of her past success of her first published book ‘Knowing who I am’ that made me react to a post on Facebook about her second book ‘Life Simplified: A Transformational Book’, and requesting a review copy from JDoubleD Publicity. I found the book to not live up to its hype. 

Information about Nianell is scant in the press release which accompanied the book, sent to me by courier, only revealing that she was born in Namibia, is a popular singer, and an ‘accomplished author’, with one previous book ‘Knowing who I am’, published by American Hay House, a huge achievement for a first-time author. It is a pity that I was not sent the first book, as in all likelihood one would have got to know more about the writer, and the rationale for writing the second book. From the book one can deduce that her name is Sonia Nel. 

As the author of two books and writing a third currently, each about a physical and a spiritual transformation, I was naturally keen to read Nianell’s story and to grow my knowledge base to enhance my own development. On a cold afternoon a week ago I snuggled up in bed and started reading. I could not get more than half way, finding it boring, repetitive, and quite religion-dominant, even though she does not use the three letter word to describe our higher being, referring to him/her as  ‘Creator of All That Is’. When I read a book (and write one), I expect to read a story, especially wishing to learn from it. No reading of a book should be a waste, even if there is only one key learning point. I found none! 

The Book is not written as a story, but rather as a set of words and phrases which are expanded upon in short chapters, with visual illustrations of the message as well as surprise poems (or are they lyrics of her songs?) taking some of the space. There is no ‘transformational’ advice or guidance, as the title of the book implies. In other words, if I learn more about ’Life is all about LOVE’, the core essence of the book in my opinion, will I be transformed? Surely, again from own experience, it’s not that easy! 

Anyone expecting a handbook on Transformation, or a step by step guide to it, will be disappointed. The book feels like a collection of Facebook or Instagram inspirational sayings bound together in one book, that Spiritually-inclined readers on Social Media would like or love, because it echoes their feelings. 

The press release summarises the book as follows: ‘Nianell’s book is a delight, it serves as a reminder that we are spiritual beings living a human live. Nianell writes about free will and choice and about the power of our thoughts. She reminds us that ultimately we are here to love, to love ourselves and others. Her book takes us back to the basics, it teaches us to simplify our lives, to live with an open heart, to forgive, let go and to be grateful for all that we have. It is interspersed with the lyrics of five of Nianell’s songs and includes a link to a free digital meditation, ‘Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs’.

What is odd, to my mind, is that a glowing accolade about the book appears inside the book, written by Debra Stevens, editor of Odyssey Magazine, which is quoted in the accompanying press release too. She writes: ‘Life Simplified’ is a ‘Book of Living’, an invaluable and profound spiritual harvest of insights about the game of love and life that we choose to play here on Earth. It is a simplification and unpacking of seemingly complex concepts that will transport the reader beyond limiting and fear-based belief systems to a place deep within; a place of feeling, healing and pure love. Nianell’s heart was shocked back to life by personal loss that took her on a journey of discovery and understanding which she shares in this book. ‘Life Simplified’ is the perfect companion for all of us.’

It was the second last sentence which captured my attention originally, about Nianell’s personal loss, supposedly shared in the book, which I did not find in ‘Life Simplified’ at all. A disappointment to be so misled about the content of the book, both from this endorsement and from the title of the book itself.

Nianell has created a musical show ‘Life Simplified’. 


Nianell: ‘Life Simplified: A Transformational Book’. Tracey McDonald Publishers. R210. Facebook: Nianell Twitter: @Nianellmusic Instagram: @nianellmusic 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


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