A clearly written and wide-ranging collection of lessons on becoming a more cheerful, centered, and successful person.



An inspirational manual aims to help readers through life’s difficulties.

In one form or another, Blalock’s nonfiction debut repeatedly asks readers the same question: “What are your solutions for sanity in a world of chaos and complexity?” In these pages, the author distills the lessons of a lifetime in business into his own answers to that question, delivered in bite-sized chapters that keep the book’s tempo swift. Chapter subjects range across a broad spectrum of issues, and the tips are supplied with a minimum of fuss or flourish. Readers are instructed on the value of mindful eating, on healthy ways of dealing with disappointment, on the importance of compromise, on methods of critical thinking, on the role of willpower in long-term planning, on the ability to know when to relinquish a stubborn but pointless hope (“Giving up hope is sometimes prudent in situations where your attention elsewhere is necessary to reach your goals in life” is a typical elaboration), and many other topics. The theme running through all of this lucid material and connecting it is the author’s insistence that being personally and spiritually grounded is the key to both happiness and success. The guide’s encouraging tone derives in large part from Blalock’s optimistic belief that the power to achieve that foundation rests in the hands of each person—this is a self-help book that places a refreshing emphasis on the “self” part. The writing often relies on clichéd thinking—embrace the moment, every day is a new day, change is constant, etc.—and many of the instructions in these brief chapters, however valuable, are truisms that scarcely bear repeating (things like “be kind,” “be honorable,” “be productive,” “be positive”). But the upbeat tone and positive self-improvement advice will make the manual a shot in the arm for despondent or distracted readers.

A clearly written and wide-ranging collection of lessons on becoming a more cheerful, centered, and successful person.

Pub Date: April 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4575-6364-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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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