A comprehensive, contemporary, and highly useful survival guide for the distracted.


Actions Against Distractions


A definitive guide to defeating the distractions of modern life.

Educational psychologist and life coach Markel (Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction, 2008, etc.) identifies eight specific “demons of distraction” (including “Technology Demon,” “Stress Demon,” and “Fatigue Demon”) and delves deeply into their causes and effects. Devoting a chapter to each, she establishes a five-step “Plan of Attack” that she applies throughout the book, giving it a consistent, parallel structure; the plan includes assessment, analysis, goal-setting, taking action, and monitoring one’s progress. In Markel’s discussion of the “Technology Demon,” for example, she writes that it “can be today’s greatest enemy of top performance and high productivity.” She then leads readers through a “Self-Check” exercise, uses a specific example to highlight the demon’s consequences, offers an assessment tool (a “Technology Journal”), and demonstrates how to set realistic goals. She goes on to talk about specific “issues and strategies” regarding technology’s negative effects, such as “The Evil Empire of E-mail” and “Gaming Addictions.” Markel closes with a summary section, “Moving from Intention to Action,” that reinforces the chapter’s content, along with a brief story about a real-life person who used a “preemptive strike” to prevent the Technology Demon from taking hold. The other chapters effectively address each of the other demons in similar fashion. The final chapter, “Maintenance, Meltdowns and Peacefulness,” targets more general improvements in productivity and lifestyle. In addition to being well-organized, the book is clearly written, carefully researched, highly pertinent to readers’ lives, and thorough in its presentation. Markel includes a wealth of charts, checklists, and questionnaires throughout, as well as an extensive list of resources at the book’s conclusion. The descriptions and examples of each of the different demons make for captivating reading by themselves, but Markel’s ability to pinpoint ways to overcome them raises this book up as an invaluable resource for anyone plagued by distractions.

A comprehensive, contemporary, and highly useful survival guide for the distracted.

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615586397

Page Count: 215

Publisher: Managing Your Mind, LLC

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

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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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