An inventive, entertaining mix of history, research and self-help.

UNBELIEVABLE ME

A 5-STEP PROGRAM FOR SHIFTING TO A POWERFUL MINDSET & EXPERIENCING TRUE SUCCESS IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE

Debut authors Lowell and Lola’s thoroughly researched, compelling self-help work focuses on undoing “fixed mindset thinking.”

From Isaac Newton to the Nazis to the unbounded potential of the 21st century, this hybrid of self-help guide and historical document explores the concept of the “fixed mindset”—the cultural, intellectual and emotional forces that encourage people to limit themselves from growing in their accomplishments, abilities and self-esteem. Lowell and Lola frame two camps: those who assume a fixed mindset approach toward life and whose intelligence and abilities are therefore inherently unchangeable and those who embrace the notion of personal growth. The authors explain: “Instead of accepting difficult challenges, learning from their failures, and sometimes being pleasantly surprised when they succeed, people with the fixed mindset only undertake challenges at which they are sure they will be successful. By doing so, they continuously confirm the level of ability they believe they have, and further reinforce their beliefs about their lack of talent.” The book elegantly transitions from scientifically documented studies and historical anecdotes to exercises designed to help participants understand the psychological blockages they carry within themselves. The penultimate section, a workbook, includes prompts that encourage readers to write down ideas that will help them break through their self-imposed barriers. The clearly written text is engaging both as a self-help guide and as a striking compendium of facts. Nazi Germany, for example, began involuntarily sterilizing people only after finding precedent in American practices of the period. The unusual perspectives on geniuses such as Einstein, Newton and others provide a welcome change from typical portraits.

An inventive, entertaining mix of history, research and self-help.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0990805700

Page Count: 338

Publisher: Practical Manifestations, LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

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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