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

RETIREMENT BASICS

HELP FOR BROKE BABY BOOMERS

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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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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