Highly worthwhile reading for religious youth looking for direction in planning their lives.

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Empowering Young Christians: Developing Bible-Based Leadership and Soft Skills

A well-executed self-help book for Christian teens.

Green provides a guide for young people which, if not unique, is certainly capable of holding its own and providing value in both the self-help and Christian-lifestyle markets. The author explores the idea of reaching for success in life by developing leadership abilities and what he terms “soft skills”: “a collection of abilities, behaviors, and attitudes that increase your effectiveness.” In both cases, he calls for youth to strive for success against a Christian backdrop. He notes early on that receiving salvation and exploring God’s plan for one’s life are definitive keys to a life well-lived. He then moves on to the “3Rs”; in this case, they are “Readiness,” “Relationships,” and “Results.” These three fundamentals create the framework for the rest of Green’s book. “Readiness,” for instance, includes being positive and keeping things in proper context; “Results” include problem-solving and accountability, among other points. There are several strengths to Green’s approach; perhaps chief among them is his skill at outlining points succinctly and visually. A diagram at the start of each chapter maps out for readers what subjects are being discussed and how they relate to the “3Rs.” Green also uses bold typefaces and other visual tools to focus readers on important points. Secondly, the author uses stories effectively as learning tools. For example, he relates a situation in which he was at a law enforcement shooting range and thought he was doing well until he was told he was firing at the wrong target—an effective allegory for unconsciously pursuing the wrong goals in life. Third, Green brings lessons back to readers with easy but effective exercises, such as simply making a list of “your true values.” Christian parents will appreciate the author’s consistent use of quotes from Scripture and basic, faith-based advice (such as, “Pray to God and ask Him to reveal His values for you”) over the course of the book.

Highly worthwhile reading for religious youth looking for direction in planning their lives.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-4575-4099-8

Page Count: 123

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2015

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

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

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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