A collection of heartfelt but vague spiritual assertions clothed in scientific language.



A spiritual memoir attempts to demonstrate the nexus of God’s plan and modern physics.

Tadla (How to Live & Do Business in China, 2007) underwent a religious transformation as the result of a crisis: He was financially ruined and forced to declare bankruptcy, the stress of which led to his wife Lovy’s nervous breakdown. But just as all seemed hopeless, he received a communication from God assuring him of the universe’s intelligent design, a message that catalyzed a “spiritual odyssey” that would span the next 50 years. The author explains that the purpose of his memoir—which is less a chronologically linear record than a meandering essay—is to express the role God has played in his life. Tadla believes that quantum physics, which explains the invisible elements of the cosmos, provides the conceptual architecture necessary to understand the divine structure of the universe, a design so meticulously orchestrated it’s entirely free of random coincidence. For example, when Lovy became terminally ill, and her son, Dana, donated his kidney to her, the author considered the seven years this added to her life a miracle, which he explains in terms of “vibrational energy”: “Miracles are made when we free ourselves from the idea that we are our bodies. Be connected with the loving energy around you.” Confusedly, when Lovy finally succumbs to her disease, that sad event is also the conclusion of a divine plan, or the result of “neguentropy,” the thermodynamic principle that states the “reorganization of the spirit” demands “turmoil.” Tadla’s book is relentlessly inspirational—time and time again he found himself addled by adversity, and he repeatedly overcame it. In addition, his philosophical ambitions are breathtaking: a decisive account of spirituality presented not as the consequence of faith, but as generally accepted science. In this way, he combines self-help instruction with New Age spirituality and an accessible introduction to the basics of physics. But the author’s appeals to modern physics are more appropriations of nomenclature than scientifically rigorous applications of accepted laws. For example, modern physicists don’t generally draw any conclusions from neguentropy regarding the “spirit” or any morally or spiritually relevant inferences at all. In addition, since Tadla believes there are no coincidences, his world is teeming with miracles, and he promiscuously resorts to the divine to explain the quotidian. It seems hyperbolic to consider his son’s gainful employment after studying philosophy in college miraculous. Similarly, meeting a woman on Skype two and a half years after his wife’s death doesn’t require recourse to divine intervention for an explanation. The author seems immovably convinced of a thesis—every moment of life is the result of a providential script—and then studiously finds confirmation of that proposition everywhere he looks, even in events that don’t seem to beg for an extraordinary account. Tadla’s cheerful optimism is heartwarming—he negotiates hardship with astonishing aplomb. But he considers himself a prophet, and that designation seems to free him from the self-doubt that typically inspires analytical scrupulousness.

A collection of heartfelt but vague spiritual assertions clothed in scientific language.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-72473-327-6

Page Count: 148

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 6, 2018

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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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