A cleareyed but warmly reassuring self-help guide with loads of hands-on ADD advice.




Forget the Ritalin and try changing lifestyle, outlook, and habits argues this energetic debut primer for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Sachs, a clinical psychologist with ADD who specializes in treating it, contends that drugs rarely help adult sufferers. He recommends instead a targeted regimen of self-analysis and behavior modification pegged to a monthlong calendar of daily lessons and goals (with weekends devoted to review). The program starts with tips on getting a good night’s sleep, proper hydration, exercise to flare off energy, and a suitable diet. (He haphazardly cites the paleo diet, the zone diet, and a gruesome “100 percent organic, raw, vegan diet.”) Sachs moves on to techniques to counteract the impulsiveness, distractions, and inappropriate conduct that plague ADD patients. He encourages readers to inventory their strengths and weaknesses and concentrate on tasks and careers they find interesting—he was reborn when he switched from being an administrative assistant to psychology—and to study and avoid triggers, like dealing with customer service reps, that can spark meltdowns. Noting how persistent lateness, missed deadlines, and chaotic comportment harm families and co-workers, he suggests that readers embed themselves in social networks that train sufferers to become reliable, punctual, and considerate of others. (He credits the men’s group The ManKind Project with helping him cultivate these virtues.) And Sachs offers many straightforward tricks to short-circuit ADD symptoms: keep a notebook to jot down off-topic ideas instead of blurting them out at meetings; loudly say “No!” when attention drifts away from the work; use apps to avoid getting sidetracked by email; break big jobs into small steps with rewards to motivate incremental accomplishments. Sachs provides lucid explanations of the brain science behind the cravings for stimuli and inability to concentrate that plague those with ADD and probes sufferers’ anguish as they cycle through failure, shame, self-loathing, and withdrawal. He conveys all of this with a mix of been-there insight and mordant humor. (The “Instant Gratification Monkey” is “the voice that pipes up when you’re working on your taxes due tomorrow and says, ‘Hey, let’s take a trip down memory [lane] and see if our ex is still on Facebook.’ ”) People with ADD (and many others who recognize themselves) should find much useful guidance here.

A cleareyed but warmly reassuring self-help guide with loads of hands-on ADD advice.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9969507-3-2

Page Count: 162

Publisher: Sachs Center

Review Posted Online: Nov. 8, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 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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