A thoughtful and often delightful book about pursuing serenity through yoga and spiritual exercises.

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YOGALIFE

10 STEPS TO FREEDOM

A series of guided meditations, reflections, and journaling exercises, aimed at helping yoga practitioners look deep within themselves and discover inner peace.

Yoga teacher Mosca (Cultivate Contentment, 2009) offers a short but in-depth guide to the spiritual side of yoga practice. In each short section, she introduces five restraints, or “Yamas,” and five observances, or “Niyamas.” The restraints—“Non-Harming,” “Truthfulness,” “Non-Stealing,” “Moderation,” and “Non-Attachment”—are framed as ideals for the reader to strive for, but Mosca emphasizes that yoga isn’t about self-punishment: “There is no harsh criticism of anyone for wrongdoing; there is only loving opposition to wrong deeds.” The Niyamas to strive toward, she says, are “Purity,” “Contentment,” “Discipline,” “Self-Study,” and “Surrender to God.” Each Yama and Niyama comes with a guided meditation, encouraging readers to develop a relaxed state of body and mind. There’s also a list of affirmations in each section, which may help ground readers. The book is clearly organized and simply crafted to allow readers to return to each lesson and repeat journal entries as needed. One feature of Mosca’s writing is that she explores each concept on a physical level, as well as a mental and spiritual one. For example, the concept of “Shaucha,” or purity, is connected to the cleanliness of one’s body and environment. It then goes on to discuss conscious eating, fasting, and cleansing, along with freeing one’s mind of turbulent emotions and other distractions. Another important observation deals with “Santosha,” or contentment—described as a “willingness to accept whatever fate may bring with balance, gratitude and joy.” The ideal, as the author explains, is to achieve unwavering serenity throughout life’s ups and downs, but one of the book’s most positive aspects is its emphasis on process, rather than on achieving an end goal.

A thoughtful and often delightful book about pursuing serenity through yoga and spiritual exercises.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9679567-7-0

Page Count: 47

Publisher: Sedona Spirit Yoga Publications

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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 LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

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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