A book of noble, sincere, and expressive advice for living.




A U.S. Navy physician shares his secrets for a more successful life in this self-help work.

Mathurin conceived of his debut book when he realized how critical checklists are in the worlds of naval aviation and medicine. Itemized lists, he says, help avoid flight mishaps and operating room errors, so he wondered, “Why not apply this same concept to people’s lives to help them achieve their highest potential?” That epiphany resulted in this book—a kind of instruction manual for living that breaks achievement into seven “checklist items”: “Goals,” “Take Action,” “Courage to Consistently Commit,” “Value Resources,” “Investing in Yourself and Others,” “Giving Back,” and “Create a Legacy of Service to Others.” An introductory section helpfully explains each of the core concepts, in brief, and these same blocks of text are repeated at the beginning of each of seven chapters. The items themselves are unlikely to be new to most readers, as many of the ideas are common in self-help literature (such as “Have the courage to go the extra mile with everything that you do, each and every time”). But the presentation of the material feels more novel, as the overarching checklist concept isn’t taken literally; the book’s merit derives from the idea that one can systematically address several broad areas in the quest for a fuller life. At the very least, this notion gives the book a highly focused structure that makes it easy for readers to navigate. Unsurprisingly, given the author’s military and medical background, there’s a sense of logic and precision to this book. Each chapter’s content is uniformly positive and always emphasizes proactivity, but it’s also clear that the book isn’t intended to highlight step-by-step procedure. Instead, it offers a wide-ranging, general discussion of each list item, using examples and personal anecdotes to illustrate specific points. To that end, Mathurin writes from a very personal perspective—sharing, for example, how he grew up in poverty in Haiti—and he explains with some eloquence how he used the principles that he lays out in his book to “transform [his] life from famine to abundance.” He writes with a great deal of insight, as well, offering not only accounts of his own experiences, but also the wisdom of others, such as investor Warren Buffett and the late self-help authors Zig Ziglar and Napoleon Hill. Mathurin’s style often takes an inspirational tone, as he exudes a sense of confidence in his approach to life: “Success,” writes Mathurin, “is only ten percent intention and ninety percent action.” About leading others, he writes, “always strive to be the leader you would want to follow; strive to be the calm voice in the midst of the chaos, and—while you are at it—strive to be the change that you want to see.” Finally, Mathurin stresses that you can “lay the path to your legacy by focusing on giving back the acts of kindness you have received along the way.”

A book of noble, sincere, and expressive advice for living.

Pub Date: May 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73228-846-1

Page Count: 150


Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2018

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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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