A charming use of pasta creation as a learning metaphor for managers.


Ravioli Rules


A seasoned administrator employs the analogy of making ravioli to convey key team concepts in this debut business book.

In his introduction, Manganiello, who currently works for a Delaware-based nonprofit and has held several other managerial positions in the public and private sectors, notes that his childhood memory of his grandparents’ homemade ravioli inspired this book. Even he had “perceived the planning, preparation and work that went into their making.” He then unspools an instructive tale featuring 10-year-old cousins Abigail and Theresa, who oversleep and miss out on the delicious ravioli whipped up by their 60-year-old grandfathers, twin brothers Alfredo and Mario. The men then tell the girls how they, too, had failed to savor some ravioli by similarly failing to get out of bed at the same age, but then learned how to make the pasta. They ultimately built a successful ravioli business by visiting various people (including relatives) to fully understand how the dish was concocted, respectfully handling their growing teams, and responding appropriately to many challenges, including saying no to an order that was too large to be handled in the time frame requested. Their tale concludes on page 96, with the text then transitioning to a flash-forward of the girls, now graduated from college, thanking their grandfathers, who are in their 80s, for their insights. The women share the themes that they’ve learned, grouped under the acronym RAVIOLI (with “V” including one-paragraph discussions of “vision,” “values,” “variety,” and “valuable”). Recipes to make ravioli dough and filling as well as accompanying meatballs and sauces complete the text. Manganiello has certainly chosen a more enjoyable, indeed mouth-watering, product for his business discussion than those classic— and boring—widgets. He sprinkles a bit too many “Ravioli Rules” callout boxes throughout this narrative, however, which serves to interrupt the flow of the grandfathers’ saga. The author also introduces an array of less-than-memorable secondary characters the two men hire or otherwise interact with. Still, the women’s acronym becomes a delightful, succinct wrap-up for this pleasingly folksy, intergenerational tale, with the included recipes an especially tasty takeaway.

A charming use of pasta creation as a learning metaphor for managers.

Pub Date: July 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9887532-0-4

Page Count: 126

Publisher: TribeSound

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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