A helpful guide for Christians who struggle with regret.



A Christian self-help book that urges readers to find relief from guilt in the loving forgiveness of God.

Jeffrey (When the Brook Dries Up, 2013) spent 15 years as a volunteer for a prison fellowship ministries program, a position in which she often witnessed others going through the corrosive pain of remorse. This spiritual manual is designed to teach her fellow Christians how to seek deliverance from missteps, and how to reconcile themselves to their imperfect natures. “The central theme of this book,” she writes, “is that God, through Christ Jesus, opened up a way whereby all believers can live abundantly and joyously, free from guilt and shame.” Much of the book offers a kind of theological anthropology that dissects the ways in which human beings instinctively avoid blame, but then suffer under the crushing weight of the ensuing guilt. Jeffrey contends that all human beings are special and unique, and generally meant to perform good works on earth. However, she also notes that people are also mortal and thus unavoidably imperfect and prone to moral error. The good news, she says, is that one can get a reprieve from one’s regrets if one turns to God for absolution, and that one may also find reassurance in the deathlessness of one’s soul. The author contends that one’s ultimate freedom is found in submission to a higher authority, and that no one can find peace without divine assistance. Overall, Jeffrey writes with great clarity and sympathy, and refreshingly avoids the kind of “doom and damnation” sermonizing that she believes dispirits well-intentioned Christians. Her scriptural erudition is obvious but unpretentiously displayed; she often draws upon her own experiences to illustrate her points, and she’s just as quick to make a reference to a popular TV show (such as OWN’s Oprah: Where Are They Now?), as she is to a biblical reading. She also helpfully includes work sheets with discussion questions for each chapter. Of course, this book won’t appeal to non-Christians, and even some believers may not find much appeal in an extended discussion of Satan’s interference in people’s lives as a “prowler on the loose.” However, the author’s lessons are skillfully crafted and impressively combine biblical knowledge with common-sense reflections on quotidian experience.

A helpful guide for Christians who struggle with regret.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-940243-91-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: Say So Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 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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