A solid self-help work containing informed advice for living.




A self-help guide that presents readers with a five-year plan to become more active and actualized.

Management consultant DeCosta’s book opens by encouraging readers to visualize their futures as if they were DVDs featuring each aspect of their lives, from personal relationships to career milestones to day-to-day quality of life. It uses this metaphor to illustrate how one can take a more active leadership role in one’s life decisions. The book is divided into four parts, each prefaced with quotes from famous figures, such as Muhammad Ali and Mark Twain. Its overall thesis is that when people don’t have fully realized plans, they allow outside events to bully them and make them unhappy. The book provides detailed, nuanced examples of how to reverse such crippling thought patterns. In chapters such as “Welcome the Critic,” the author encourages readers to stop rejecting the commentaries and judgments of others and instead learn how to embrace constructive criticism. He ably imparts the book’s lessons in taut prose, as when he writes of his former boss: “[W]hen I screwed up, he let me know how and why.” In a pleasing bit of symmetry, he closes with a revamped metaphor, encouraging readers to imagine a classroom of 30 different potential future versions of themselves: “[N]one of them have superpowers, nor are they a member of the Royal Family of England, and none of them are on a reality television show.” This relatable illustration deflates the starry-eyed quality of many other self-help books. Overall, DeCosta’s pragmatism and punchy prose make this book an enjoyable, inspiring read.

A solid self-help work containing informed advice for living.

Pub Date: March 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1494388805

Page Count: 152

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2014

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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