Engaging and emboldening; a way out for the truly adventurous.




A captivating, contemporary rendition of the get-rich-quick genre that offers an unusual strategy for living life differently.

Of the countless books that promise to increase one’s wealth in a short period of time, most are either a sales pitch for a “system” of some kind or reliant on a one-dimensional approach, such as real estate investing. Robinson’s debut is refreshingly different. This lawyer-turned-entrepreneur shares a shrewd yet uncomplicated plan for “opting out” of a traditional lifestyle through “a series of life hacking strategies.” He follows a tried-and-true formula and weaves his own success story into a self-help guide that neatly lays out his unorthodox plan in three sections: the “Opt Out” philosophy followed by “income pillars” and “expense pillars.” For some, it may be the philosophy that is the hardest to swallow. It requires an unconventional way of thinking, or as Robinson writes, “you no longer define wealth in the terms that society uses,” and you opt out “of the traditional approach to making money and spending money.” The author’s own contrarian story demonstrates how he “opts out” of a traditional livelihood. His accounts of other people following novel, alternative lifestyles are inspiring and enticing. The intriguing philosophy is expanded upon in the second and third parts of the book. Three income pillars—starting a “side gig,” buying or bootstrapping a business, and investing in real estate—are each described in detail. Robinson relies on his own experience, supplemented by the stories of others, to validate his methodology. His side-gig brainstorming ideas and explanations of side-gig requirements, including “low capital outlay” and “low liability, low risk,” are helpful. Robinson acknowledges a higher risk is associated with buying or starting a full-time business, but he shares strategies for doing so with a minimum of cash, such as trading time or using promissory notes. Always the nonconformist, Robinson advises, “Good ideas don’t make good businesses….You don’t need a creative idea. You need a business that is generating cash.” He adds, “You should avoid trying to raise money from investors.” Such statements may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but that is the point, and Robinson makes a convincing case for deviating from the norm. Likewise, the intriguing discussion of real estate investing doesn’t downplay the risks but offers some daring methods of squeezing income out of real estate, such as flipping a house and house swapping. When it comes to the “expense pillars,” the book is no less bold. One of the author’s ideas is scavenging, such as buying furnishings from thrift stores; “I furnished a classy house with classy things,” writes Robinson. There is a certain fascination in observing how Robinson developed his own quirky strategy for becoming a “subversive millionaire,” and he writes with such infectious verve that it is hard not to opt in to his way of thinking. Still, his enthusiasm is breathless at times, and some of his ideas may appeal only to confirmed risk-takers.

Engaging and emboldening; a way out for the truly adventurous.

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73228-721-1

Page Count: 274

Publisher: Opt Out, LLC DBA Opt Out Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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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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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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