A highly conversational self-help book that successfully documents how many have made positive decisions in their lives.




A collection of anecdotes about making life changes that focuses on shifting one’s habits and finding new routes to success.

McManus (co-author: Ten Traits for Top Performers, 2006) and Skidmore (co-author: Rock Your Life, 2017) collect a large series of personal stories in this self-improvement book, including tales of career changes, improved diets, family decisions, and romantic relationships. Each chapter begins with an essay about the importance of change in a particular area of life and illustrates it through real-life accounts of struggle and triumph. For example, in one section, a woman reflects on her decision to separate from an abusive mother; this painful process, she learned, was crucial to her ability to lead a healthy, productive, stable life. In another chapter, a man discovers that he must change his diet in order to prevent health problems compounded by years of unhealthy, sedentary behavior. The stories vary in depth and severity, making this a great book for readers looking to improve either large or small areas of their lives. Choice, the authors explain, is the most important tool that one has to design one’s own existence. Although the book does take on a repetitive rhythm, with each new theme followed by short examples, the stories are varied enough to keep things fresh and engaging. One chapter, for instance, discusses deepening one’s social connections by having in-depth conversations with the people one meets in such settings as volunteer organizations or educational classes. Specifically, the authors suggest straying from the topic that brought you together with others in order to find out more about their lifestyles and interests. It’s only through such fearless exploration, the authors assert, that bonds can grow. Although not every chapter will speak to every reader, the book supplies something for everyone.

A highly conversational self-help book that successfully documents how many have made positive decisions in their lives.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-938015-82-3

Page Count: 206

Publisher: CKCGlobalmedia

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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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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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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