Accessible, detailed advice for building authentic friendships.



A manifesto of authentic female friendships to combat the loneliness epidemic.

After her divorce, Dugan (Date Like a Grownup, 2014, etc.) longed for human connection but knew that throwing herself straight back into dating would be a mistake. She sensed that she needed to meet people who would accept her for who she was and encourage her to make good decisions about her future. In that context, “female friendships trumped my hunt for love.” Like Bowling Alone (2000) and the works of Brené Brown, this book sensitively probes the cultural factors that lead to feelings of isolation while advocating for vulnerability and letting go of shame. Self-knowledge and nonjudgmental understanding of others are twin goals. Loneliness is not a personal failing, Dugan reassures readers, but a symptom of a life that needs to change. At certain points, many of us will find we have no one with whom to share deep thoughts or even everyday experiences, she notes, and while Facebook promises shallow affirmations, it doesn’t always represent real relationships. “Facebook friends are the new collectible you don’t have to dust,” she quips. In a digital world overloaded with information and choice, the author observes that social media allows us to hoard acquaintances but avoid commitment, such as through “maybe” responses to event invitations. The book proposes concrete tips for overcoming indecision and inertia—what she calls “limbo-living.” Such imaginative naming, like the “Hateful Heckler” for negative self-talk, makes up for a couple of jargon-ridden definitions (e.g., “Opportunity Clutter”). Headed sections, sets of questions to ask oneself, and lists of positive and negative character traits to look for in potential friends add up to a well-structured and user-friendly text. Dugan joins adult friendships to childhood experiences through a discussion of her earliest friendships and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Weekly get-togethers with her “Cabernet Coaches” are now invaluable to the author, but it took time and determination to build that friend group. Through her own story and psychological insights, she offers hope that even the loneliest readers can find community and connection.

Accessible, detailed advice for building authentic friendships.

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946664-57-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Headline Books, Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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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