Accessible yet abbreviated; will appeal largely to boomers who want a broad-brush approach to the major elements of...




An engagingly written but thin overview of retirement basics.

Debut author Davis, a former New York City chiropractor, wrote this book after doing research for her own retirement. Intending it to be “help for broke baby boomers,” Davis does indeed cover all the basics: Social Security, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, retirement plans, wills, living wills, health, working during retirement, saving money, and where to relocate. Davis writes in a folksy, informal style, sharing her own story and adding some personality to otherwise fairly standard text. The chapters are short, offering a cursory glance at each topic without the depth of detail found in other retirement books; instead, the author provides numerous links to additional material. Much of the book’s content is, in fact, compiled from other sources, but for those readers who don’t wish to hunt around, Davis’ work is likely to be a time-saver. Still, readers should be aware that this guide just scratches the surface. The 11-page chapter titled “Retirement Plans,” for example, is nothing more than definitions of and a few facts about 401(k)s, pensions, IRAs and Roth IRAs. The discussion of wills, inheritance and living wills, a mere five pages, feels incomplete. The chapters about healthy eating and exercise seem to convey the author’s personal view of food and her own experience with physical activity rather than authoritative, objective facts. One of the more compelling chapters, “Living Abroad,” should be valuable to retirees who may be considering an international relocation. Here, the author shares useful details about visa and financial requirements. She also provides a helpful rundown of many of the more popular international retirement spots, such as Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua and Thailand (though one can’t help wondering why Costa Rica was excluded). A nice touch: Davis includes relevant lines from songs popular with boomers, like “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac and “Let’s Live for Today” by The Grass Roots.

Accessible yet abbreviated; will appeal largely to boomers who want a broad-brush approach to the major elements of retirement.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692303375

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Golden Goddess Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2014

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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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