An author presents a straightforward system for coping with stress and crisis.
While readers might not be able to prevent life’s many upheavals, both big and small, they can control how they handle them, according to Drapeau (co-author: How Did You Do That!, 2009). After facing down several disasters, including his wife’s terminal illness, he developed a simple and accessible seven-step “Shatterproof System,” which he promises will help readers “navigate, manage and rise above any crisis.” Most people respond to events such as a job loss or illness with feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and failure, the author explains in this compact, pointed volume. These reactions are normal, but they can become traps that negatively affect their lives and health. By embracing the clearly outlined Shatterproof principles and completing the useful exercises at the end of each chapter, individuals should be able to effectively surmount crises and push forward. The process begins with acknowledging the situation, followed by accepting and embracing the opportunities it presents even though such a move “requires a paradigm shift away from feelings of victimization and helplessness.” Additional steps include examining worst-case scenarios, freeing oneself from worry, and creating a robust plan to regain equilibrium. Readers are also encouraged to complete a “gratitude inventory” and embrace faith in a higher power in order to foster confidence. (That final step might alienate nonreligious readers.) Anecdotes from the author’s own life as well as examples from his friends and family successfully illustrate the principles in action. Several of these stories, particularly Drapeau’s reflections on his wife’s battle with cancer, are truly moving and inspiring. The tone throughout is positive and uplifting without straying into the realm of banal self-help clichés. Anyone who gets bogged down in decision-making or is overwhelmed by unexpected events stands to benefit from the author’s levelheaded advice and his persuasive suggestion that retreating from the chaos and developing mental focus are what are needed to take command and make wise choices.
Provides a solid road map for dealing with life’s curveballs in a constructive way.
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)
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").