A lean but surprisingly comprehensive guide that skillfully tells readers how to analyze and take control of their...




A debut manual offers advice on reprogramming inner attitudes about succeeding in life.

Joyette’s slim handbook starts with an appealingly functional premise: that people approach the world’s challenges in ways largely determined by their early upbringings and personal “programming.” The author maintains that individuals can change this programming if they work at it (and, of course, consider the thoughts and guidelines laid out in this volume). Joyette wants his readers to ask themselves some disarmingly simple questions: What explanations do you have for the way your life currently is, and if it isn’t to your liking, why is that? What are the factors that have gone into making your life and personality the way they are? The central contention of these pages is that most of the answers to such questions lie inside individuals—and are under their control if they’ll only free themselves from negative, self-limiting thinking. “It is incredible,” Joyette sarcastically notes, “how expert we become at ‘knowing’ what we can and cannot do.” The essence of this inspirational book’s teachings—presented in clear, highly kinetic prose—is that such expertise is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, the product of letting all of life’s negative stimuli pile up and harden into a crust of self-defeat. The author’s advice examines many personal improvement topics, always distinguishing between inner and outer enhancements—and emphasizing that the former is more important. On the subject of physical appearance, for instance, he advises modifying it in positive ways. But he stresses that the crucial second step is to “internalize positive beliefs” about appearance rather than tying self-esteem directly to it (“If you attach your self-worth in any way to how you look, and you aren’t satisfied with what you look like, you’re setting yourself up to be miserable”). Joyette includes a particularly blunt and enlightening chapter on how to apply these self-image improvement techniques when one is black in America—a subset frequently plagued with its own challenges, which the author addresses with plainspoken sensitivity.

A lean but surprisingly comprehensive guide that skillfully tells readers how to analyze and take control of their self-images.

Pub Date: June 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2416-5

Page Count: 168

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


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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