A well-written but ultimately uneven motivational guide for teens.

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TOOLS OF A+ STUDENTS

EPIC STRATEGIES FOR ACADEMIC & PERSONAL SUCCESS

A teenager advises other teens on how to achieve success in this manual.

Ouellet (The Super Students Guide to Navy Seal Productivity, 2017) was a bullied kid who dealt with his feelings by acting out, often landing himself in the vice principal’s office. It got so bad that, when he was 13 years old, he began contemplating suicide. Through the support of his parents, teachers, and life coach, Ouellet learned to see himself differently: as a good kid with a lot of potential who just needed a new perspective. With this book, he hopes to share what he’s learned in the intervening years with his fellow teens so that they might undergo the same regenerative process. He encourages readers to learn from their mistakes, set excuses aside, and build winning attitudes in order to move through life with greater success. Much of Ouellet’s regimen is structured around discovering one’s passions, picking goals that relate to those interests, and achieving those objectives through helpful strategies like deadlines and daily routines. The author prescribes rituals for morning, bedtime, and throughout the day so that readers are always working toward their goals. Because this is a book for teens, a good portion of it is dedicated to becoming a better student. Ouellet writes in an enthusiastic prose that is certainly impressive for a 16-year-old: “Your mind is like a garden, so you must fertilize it with the best ideas and knowledge.” But contentwise, the book is boilerplate, Tony Robbins–style motivation, which, when spoken in the voice of a teen, comes off as slightly odd. Ouellet’s vision of success is both materialistic and grandiose. It’s a worldview that seems as if it might place greater pressure on teenage readers, not less. When the 13-year-old Ouellet confessed his thoughts of suicide to his father, his parent responded: “I promise you that within a year from now, you’ll be achieving heights you’ll have never thought possible. You’ll be happier than you’ve ever been.” Many readers will likely be left wondering if minors aren’t a bit young for this sort of hyperbolic aspirational thinking.

A well-written but ultimately uneven motivational guide for teens.

Pub Date: March 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-0791-5

Page Count: 204

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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