An experienced author shares how to use prose to gain a better understanding of oneself in a book that’s part self-help tome, part writing manual.

Throughout her life, Raab (Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey, 2011, etc.) turned to writing to cope with trauma. Now, she combines her knowledge of that art with her study of the mind (the author has a Ph.D. in psychology) in a book that aims to help people use words to find joy and healing. Lessons and accompanying writing prompts are designed to “inspire and teach you to learn more about yourself, tap into your emotional truth, find your authentic voice, and write about your own losses, challenges, and joys.” The process begins with tips on creating a sacred space for writing, a discussion of the mind-body connection, and an overview of meditation techniques. Then Raab moves on to advice on finding one’s voice, deciding which life stories to tell, and developing a journaling habit. (The author advocates pen-and-paper journals but asserts that “writing on a computer is better than not writing at all.”) Throughout, Raab includes anecdotes from her life, including how memoir writing helped her come to terms with her grandmother’s suicide. Most of the book is focused on working in that popular genre. The author dedicates one chapter to verse, in which she disdains formalism in favor of a confessional style that produces “more accessible poems in which there is resonance between the reader and writer.” Fiction gets short shrift, with just a few pages tacked on to the end of one chapter. She deftly tackles the tricky issue of preparing a book for publication, particularly how to communicate with family members who might be subjects of the work. Throughout, the emphasis is on writing as part of a larger process of healing or discovery. Readers looking for advice on plotting or character development won’t find much here. But for those who hope to use writing as a way to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, Raab offers a uniquely helpful approach. A worthy, practical guide for the aspiring memoirist.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61599-323-9

Page Count: 238

Publisher: Loving Healing Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2017

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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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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