An engaging and valuable book about living a more loving and purposeful life.

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PRACTICE MAKES PURPOSE

SIX SPIRITUAL PRACTICES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND TRANSFORM YOUR COMMUNITY

Schroeder (On Social Justice: St. Basil the Great, 2009) offers a guide to a spiritually vibrant existence.

The author draws on his own past as a former Greek Orthodox priest in this enlightening instructional volume. Six spiritual practices form the bedrock of his teachings: “Compassionate Seeing,” “Heartfelt Listening,” “Intentional Welcoming,” “Joyful Sharing,” “Grateful Receiving,” and “Cooperative Building.” Regarding the first practice, he urges readers to be more curious about others: “Compassionate Seeing allows us to view the world in sharp definition, without the distorted lenses of our judgments.” To develop heartfelt listening, Schroeder recommends using the phrase, “Please tell me more.” Acknowledging people’s feelings, he says, is another form of heartfelt listening. He introduces the Greek term “acedia,” defined as “numbness, a state of unfeeling, disconnection from our deepest self.” This condition can be dangerous, he says, as some people will do anything, even if it’s self-destructive, to feel alive. Tuning in to one’s emotions, he asserts, can allow one to find more peace and joy. In the section on intentional welcoming, Schroeder demonstrates healthy boundary-setting and saying “yes” only to things that matter most. To share joyfully, he says, one must give gifts of time, energy, and attention without obligation. He advocates focusing on intentions rather than expectations and on accepting failure as part of the process. The final section about cooperative building focuses on community: “Strength…is inviting others to help us improve on our ideas,” he writes. Schroeder’s writing is clear, tight, and comprehensive. He illustrates each principle with parables and examples, though many of the scenarios involve parenting (“Say, for instance, I have a young son who is playing on a softball team, but is afraid of being hit by the ball”) or take place in office environments, which may not resonate with all readers. His simple, effective mantras, however, allow readers to immediately apply the book’s principles to their lives (such as “I accept everything I see” or “I receive the gift that is offered”). He recognizes the challenges of change but he effectively reminds his audience that this book contains ongoing practices—not pinnacles to be reached.

An engaging and valuable book about living a more loving and purposeful life. 

Pub Date: June 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-83087-1

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Hexad Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2017

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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