A revelatory, compassionate wake-up call for caregivers that’s written with a critical eye.




In this insightful debut, a Dutch social worker lobbies for a more enlightened understanding of so-called “problem behavior.”

According to Bettinger, it’s easy for caregivers to misinterpret or ignore their loved ones’ or clients’ needs and treat unpleasant actions as behavioral problems—particularly if those people can’t speak or express their needs appropriately. Bettinger dramatically illustrates this point by recounting how being sexually abused as a child led to his difficult behavior, such as constant arguing and running away from home: “I can now understand that I gave many signals to the outside world without ever telling the story.” Throughout the book, the author stresses the importance of respecting clients as individuals, a notion that he embeds in the book’s title: “If we actually stand still beside each individual, we will get to know him better….We will gain more insight into the meaning of his signals.” This is a book of short, high-impact chapters, each laced with engaging case studies and closing with provocative “Reflective questions.” The chapters address key elements of caregiving and, more importantly, the perceptions that caregivers have of their clients. In one chapter, for example, Bettinger uses two case studies to illustrate how always initially saying “yes” to a client’s questions and wishes can lead to fruitful discussion, which can solve problems in a more equitable way. Another chapter presents, rather starkly, reasons why notations in a client’s file can sometimes do more harm than good. What caregivers write in a file, says Bettinger, “is often subjective, and therefore hardly in the best interests of a client.” There’s real power in the author’s prose, and his passion and clarity of purpose pervade the text. Moreover, he demonstrates a keen understanding that a person’s “problem behavior” can alert caregivers to issues that can be addressed. The author’s advocacy for clients is unbending as he exhorts readers to “reflect on ourselves more” and “repeatedly ask critical questions.”

A revelatory, compassionate wake-up call for caregivers that’s written with a critical eye.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5255-1400-5

Page Count: 157

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 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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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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