An elegantly written, passionately presented, cleverly organized guide to pursuing a healthy and responsible life.

Thrive

AN ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO BETTER HEALTH AND TRUE WEALTH

A debut book offers a comprehensive approach to living an “environmentally conscious” life.

In the realm of self-improvement books, focusing on a single area, such as diet or happiness, is a very common construct. Much rarer (and typically less successful) is a volume that attempts to take a holistic approach to virtually every aspect of life. Chayne, a recent college graduate, not only manages to cover a great deal of territory, but she does it with authority. Her concise book is divided into six parts, smartly labeled with a single word. “Nourish,” for example, explores eating well, whether “detox” is healthy, how to “master your body’s language,” food waste, the role farmers play in the food supply, and maintaining the planet’s biodiversity. Other parts pinpoint such areas as finding happiness (“Smile”), body health (“Revitalize”), and even responsible consumer buying (“Style”). Most of the content leans strongly toward being eco-friendly; in “Beautify,” for instance, the author offers a detailed list of cosmetic product ingredients to be wary of. Each part of the book is a tightly constructed section made up of chapters that are notable for their clarity and brevity. Every chapter provides a summary at the end (almost unnecessary given the minimal chapter length), and each part ends with a substantial list of references (in the case of “Nourish,” there are 86 articles, books, lectures, websites, and a documentary). The volume is remarkable in its ability to condense material of substance into bite-size segments. The benefit of such an approach is significant: Chayne paints with a very broad brush, offering a taste of many issues both large and small in just enough detail to get one’s mind working; if the reader wants to dig deeper, a wealth of additional resources are provided for further exploration. In this respect, the book delivers an impressive format: an encyclopedic work in scope that has been adapted to a contemporary environment for people who have neither the inclination nor the time to read a lot of specifics.

An elegantly written, passionately presented, cleverly organized guide to pursuing a healthy and responsible life.

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9971320-2-1

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Purpose Prints

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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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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