This short, reflective guide to overcoming common relationship obstacles offers strategies for stronger communication and resolution.
Debut author Fowles doesn’t fill her pages with anecdotes, tips, lists, and metaphors, as so many other self-improvement books tend to do. Instead, she offers a succinct, minimalist approach to handling issues such as anxiety and depression when they create dysfunction in family and couple relationships. The opening chapters offer insights into making certain one’s “self” is honored in any relationship dynamic. She emphasizes the importance of saying “yes” only when one means “yes,” and not when one simply wants to appease, avoid tension, or seek approval. She further expands the notion of honoring the self’s desires with a chapter on quieting negative “voices”—beliefs formed in childhood regarding one’s sense of self-worth and self-image. Although her anecdotes are few, they are powerful; for example, she offers an illustration of two different girls getting ready to go to the same birthday party. One’s family members encourage, support, and praise her when she shows her newdress to them. The other’s family puts her down, criticizes, and shames her. It becomes clear that the two girls will grow up with entirely different notions of self. Fowles expertly weaves this same idea into later chapters about couples and families, pointing out that these dynamics draw on past affirmations or degradations. One of the most valuable chapters teaches “passive listening,” in which a listener supports someone by refraining from posing questions, imposing judgments, or giving extensive advice, in order to give the person space to arrive at his or her own realizations. This author also demonstrates this powerful tool through scripted examples.
An invaluable book about developing empathy in relationships and strengthening one’s inner voice.
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").
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)