Guaranteed to galvanize more than a few couch potatoes into action.




A former Navy SEAL explains his take-no-prisoners approach to life in this candid memoir/self-help book. 

“I should have been a statistic,” admits debut author Goggins. A childhood marked by abuse and racial prejudice seemed to leave him destined for a life of struggle and failure. But after nearly flunking out of high school, Goggins got tough on himself, realizing that he’d never fulfill his dream of joining the military if he didn’t shape up fast. And shape up he did, eventually becoming a Navy SEAL, celebrated endurance athlete, and one-time Guinness World Record holder for the most pull-ups performed in a 24-hour period. Yet as a teen, Goggins barely made it into the Air Force after failing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test twice. Later, he had to drop 100 pounds in three months in order to join the SEALs. His laundry list of accomplishments is impressive, and he tells his remarkable story in a direct, conversational way, though his language is often raw. Much of the book recounts the author’s experiences in military training and competing in ultramarathons and endurance sports, offering a fascinating peek into those subcultures (expect a few graphic photos of what toes look like after running a 100-plus-mile race). He also speaks frankly about his moments of doubt and failure. Each chapter ends with challenges to complete. The goal is to bring readers “nose-to-concrete with your own bullshit limits you didn’t even know were there.” According to Goggins, most people are operating at about 40 percent of their true capability, and he makes a convincing case that tapping into that unused 60 percent is largely a matter of mental discipline. Doing so requires fortitude and sacrifice—Goggins admits he “lived like a monk” to achieve his level of success—but will eventually lead to “self-mastery.” And through all the tough talk, he also offers words of encouragement: “Your small victories are your cookies to savor.” Some might find Goggins’ intensity a bit intimidating, but there’s no doubt his story is inspiring.

Guaranteed to galvanize more than a few couch potatoes into action. 

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5445-1228-0

Page Count: 364

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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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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