An interesting exploration of thoughts and feelings through the imaginary world of the writer’s mind.



In this memoir of an inner journey, debut author Morris describes calling on an imaginary hawk to guide her through a spiritual and emotional transformation.

Some may call it a power animal, while others call it an imaginary friend. Regardless of the title, within Morris’ memoir, the imagined creature develops a voice of its own and begins to guide the author away from negative beliefs and toward a connection with nature. Morris, overwhelmed with the pressures of society and a numbers-driven job, created this guide to help her find a place of peace. In her forest home, she finds solace in meditations that take her on long, intimate journeys through dense woods with her guide, the hawk. Along the path, she tells the hawk of realizations about her ego, her failures, and her regrets. In the process, she opens up a pathway to discovering her true self, apart from the ego and the demands of a world she finds ruined and driven by greed rather than human spirit. As she speaks to the hawk about her inner discoveries, she begins to directly address parts of her ego she wishes to dismiss, naming them, for example, “Unlovable” and “Unsuccessful.” In one passage, Morris writes, “You, Unlovable, are nothing more than a pathetic presence but I, on the other hand, am created from pure love and I intend to listen to my heart from this moment on.” This marks a turning point for the speaker, as she begins to separate her identity from the ego that has long made her dependent, unhappy, and alone. Readers may find it unusual, at first, to encounter passages where Morris speaks directly to the hawk and to other animals such as a bat. Yet the dialogue is fluid, and the author’s descriptions are easy to follow, such that the hawk becomes a character the reader can picture. The themes and topics, from self-love to fear, will resonate with anyone who has looked inward and begun the journey of unwinding the ego and finding the roots of anxieties, fears, and insecurities.

An interesting exploration of thoughts and feelings through the imaginary world of the writer’s mind.

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1478746010

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc.

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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