An artful, useful, and refreshing motivational guide.




A debut self-help book dispenses advice on thriving through the ebb and flow of life.

As a young and enthusiastic entrepreneur, Tomczak has a knack for creative thinking and a desire to share it, which is exactly what he does in this manual. Whether read front to back or opened at random, the guide offers smoothly flowing essays and poetry tailored to help people “get inspired and do more of what really matters.” In some sections, the author relates personal stories, such as his financially tight childhood and his eye-opening adventures at the Burning Man festival. Other times, he simply reflects on life, sharing his conclusions and astute advice. Notable themes include finding out who you are and what your journey is about; looking outside yourself by caring for others; striving for a healthy diet, adequate fitness, and consistent sleep; and truly living while you’re alive. Returning often to the tide metaphor in the book’s title, Tomczak encourages readers to appreciate and embrace both the highs and lows of their odysseys. In his counsel, he is confident, affirming, and optimistic, with a firm focus on moving forward and not backward. As he asserts in one of his poems, “I don’t give up and I don’t give in / The future is not where the past has been.” The author displays a distinctive writing style, gently fusing prose and poetry in a way that is surprisingly mesmerizing. He often relies on repetition and wordplay to relay his messages (for example, “Everyone’s solving for x without asking for why”). This is usually highly effective except on the occasions when repetition becomes excessive (“No one cares” appears over 20 times in one section) or intricate sentences confuse rather than edify (“If you believe you already are whatever you want to be, you will be that, because you already are that”). The abstract nature of Tomczak’s musings may not jibe with those who prefer solid self-help steps, but the beauty of these ruminations is that they draw readers in from wherever they are in life. There’s truly something for everyone in this book.

An artful, useful, and refreshing motivational guide.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9966323-9-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Wet Star Press

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



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

Did you like this book?