Effectively employs real-life examples to model self-acceptance.




The second edition of self-help author Brown’s (Color Your Life Happy Coloring Book for Adults, 2016, etc.) detailed advice, strategies, and methods to attain happiness.

Brown offers prescriptive approaches to nurture well-being. “My goals were to do what led to praise and happy outcomes,” Brown writes of her childhood. Born in a poor minority section of St. Louis, the author, who is African-American, never felt deprived in her childhood. Her positive attitude helped her attain professional success as college teacher, consultant, and writer, as well as a sense of personal fulfillment. She applies many lessons she has gleaned from a lifetime of teaching others about ways to attain life goals. One thing helps: the recognition that some days just “suck,” says Brown. Facing a stressful, rainy day of teaching, she put some papers under her coat to protect them, only to step in a puddle. Her strategy for such mishaps is to be thankful for what goes well—even on bad days. She suggests actively choosing one’s responses to life’s hiccups; rather than just burst into anger, she allows herself some purgative tears if necessary. Written in warm, engaging second-person prose, this book offers relevant quotes from varied sources such as Mahatma Gandhi and the philosopher Seneca. Text boxes encapsulate Brown’s experiences. Short anecdotes and lists elucidate her argument that happiness can be obtained through following her advice regarding diet, attitude adjustment through positive affirmations, and avoiding failure by taking small positive steps toward major goals. Readers won’t find much new information here, but the encouraging, personalized delivery may be appreciated. Perhaps the most salient and convincing part of this book focuses on Brown’s attempts to face the many challenges she encountered when, soon after she and her husband separated, he suddenly died.

Effectively employs real-life examples to model self-acceptance. 

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9772183-1-8

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Sonata Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 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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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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