Soul of a Professor

Memoir of an Un-Engineered Life

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
360 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Andy Hutchings for Readers' Favorite

If you, like myself, enjoy memoirs that deftly blend raw and honest openness with powerful insights then consider yourself in luck as Lisa A. Pruitt’s autobiography is a must-read. Soul of a Professor: Memoir of an Un-Engineered Life charts the author's life as her success in the world of academia was used to fill a void left in her personal life following a heartbreaking tragedy. Following an almost fatal accident, the author was forced to come to terms with her demons as she turned away from her academic life and toward her horse to find the strength to seek and pursue recovery.

There is a great power to be found in autobiographical works by authors who have faced, understood, and reflected upon their personal truths. They have the capacity to act as a beacon to those of us with similar struggles and to broaden the understanding of those of us who haven’t known that pain. Lisa A. Pruitt’s work is deeply commendable both for the willingness she has to share her demons and her journey to overcome them and for her eloquent writing which renders her unique experiences relatable for every reader. Soul of a Professor is a beautiful ode to the honesty that we owe ourselves, and a rallying call for those of us still struggling to come to terms with the insecurities that hold us back in life. There is strength to be found in these pages, loaned to us by a remarkable author, and ready for readers to take into their own lives.

Vincent Dublado

Soul of a Professor: Memoir of an Un-Engineered Life by Lisa A. Pruitt, Ph.D. is powerful and inspiring. It touches on one woman’s personal journey where she discovers self-realization, adventure, friendship, and healing. But it is actually more than just these things. It’s about facing a painful past and unleashing the pain kept hidden for so long after another tragic event triggers its release. Lisa Pruitt has a successful academic career, but old wounds fester as she secretly blames herself for the death of her younger sister. She hits rock bottom after a horse accident that drained her energy levels at inappropriate times. With traditional medical therapies not helping, her trusted thoroughbred served as her guide toward healing and un-engineering her life through her horse's wisdom and self-empowerment.

Any memoirist cares about their personal story, but Pruitt cares in the sense that she is not distracted by it. As the theme of this memoir is the agony of harboring a bitter past and not acknowledging it until a catalyst comes along, Soul of a Professor proves to be inspiring for anyone who has experienced pain and trauma. I am guessing that writing this book is part of Pruitt’s objective of un-engineering her life. As she candidly describes her vulnerabilities, she earns the mana of sympathetic readers who are there to listen, and being listened to already has enough power to soothe and mend. Pruitt goes for a naturalistic voice that reminds you that you are reading from chapters of her memory. This is the kind of memoir that lifts up and inspires the spirit. It reminds you of that existential adage that being human has unlimited freedom but it is filled with responsibilities. Part of those responsibilities is how we make choices and how to take care of ourselves. This is an extraordinary must-read.

Tommy Wong

Soul of a Professor: Memoir of an Un-Engineered Life by Lisa A. Pruitt is a fascinating real-life story. How can anyone imagine the inner world of such a brilliant academic to be so broken? Indeed, it’s very courageous of Lisa Pruitt to share her inner world in Soul of a Professor, a world of eating disorders and alcohol addiction. This world had been covered by her outstanding academic facade. In Soul of a Professor, Lisa Pruitt also shares her childhood, school days, university days, and her working life as an academic, as well as her family, boyfriends, marriages, and divorce. Pruitt’s love of horses is an endearing part of her life, which is expressed in several chapters in Soul of a Professor.

While I tried to comprehend how the loss of a baby sister and feelings of unworthiness can affect one’s life so deeply, I can fully empathize with Lisa Pruitt’s determination in getting her Ph.D. and her academic experiences because they were so close to mine. I went for my Ph.D., partially because my father did not have an opportunity to pursue one. As a former engineering professor, I can fully understand Lisa Pruitt’s academic workload in teaching, research, consultancy, and mentoring. In Soul of a Professor, Lisa Pruitt describes these experiences professionally. As for the other aspects of her life, she describes her family, boyfriends, marriages, divorce, and love of horses with deep emotions. I really enjoyed reading Soul of a Professor. It’s an absorbing real-life story. Well worth a read.

Foluso Falaye

Lisa was at a point in her life that many would consider a success as a full professor with a highly regarded portfolio of research, mentorship, and teaching. She did, however, suffer from alcoholism, bulimia, and an unhealthy sense of self-worth. In Soul of a Professor, Lisa A. Pruitt Ph.D. describes various significant incidents from her childhood, marriage, and adulthood that contributed to her greatest challenges. These incidents include the loss of a sister, social anxiety in high school, seeking protection in romantic relationships, and more. Fortunately, her account has both lovely, healing stories and moments of her developing a deep understanding of herself. Follow Lisa's tale as she learns to focus more on her internal needs after neglecting them for decades and driving herself to a hazardous point in her academic aspirations in Soul of a Professor.

It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge one's shortcomings to oneself, let alone to the rest of the world in a book. Lisa A. Pruitt Ph.D. does this by exposing her deepest feelings about her flaws at various phases of her life. She demonstrates excellent introspection and self-analysis skills by attributing her problems in her adulthood to her preconceived habits and mindset as a child. The reader's attention is kept throughout the narrative as it meanders through themes such as addiction, marital issues, academia, horse riding, injury, family, and more. Soul of a Professor emphasizes the importance of mental wellness in a world where extrinsic achievement is more valued than most other objectives. This heartfelt, eye-opening book will appeal to readers who suffer from addiction or low self-esteem and will urge them to take in the beauty and healing powers of the natural world. This book is definitely a must-read.

Alex Ndirangu

Soul of a Professor by Lisa A. Pruitt is an honestly written memoir. From the outside, Lisa is a strong woman and a professor with a highly respected portfolio of teaching, research, and mentoring. But deep inside, she is screaming from feelings of sorrow and palpable fear. It all started when Lisa was two years old. Just the previous night, she'd climbed into her baby sister's crib. Lisa held her little sister just like her mother had shown her and rocked her like her baby doll. But this morning, the baby's crib is empty, and visceral darkness hangs in her home. God has taken the baby back to heaven. For many years, Lisa wondered if she was the one who really deserved to survive. Searching for an escape from the pain and wondering if she'll ever be enough, Lisa developed an addiction and a potentially life-threatening eating disorder. Lisa's academic success has become the veil that hides the pain she has carried for so long. She is thirty-eight years old now, and her life is passing before her. But a truth buried deep inside her cracks open during a near-death experience.

This is the story of one woman's journey through suffering and toward redemption and happiness. My favorite part is the sincerity that Lisa A. Pruitt applies in writing and sharing her personal experience. Telling the world about your deepest scars takes a lot of courage. While reading through Lisa's transformation journey, you cheer her on as she struggles to overcome the traumas of her past, not to mention how her enthusiasm for horses will leave you craving to get one for yourself. I couldn't help smiling when Lisa asked the doctor when she'd be able to ride her horse again, just three days after being seriously trampled by another horse. The part that I found to be tense was when Lisa finally broke the news to Frank, her husband, that she wanted a divorce. If you are in a relationship, you will learn crucial lessons from Lisa's failed marriage and how you can improve yours. This book will also be a treasure for victims of depression and anyone struggling to love themselves. The positive energy I felt while reading The Soul of a Professor was undeniable.