A functional, if not groundbreaking, Christian devotional.



A debut monthlong devotional offers prayers for older parents.

Parents require prayers at all points in their lives, not just when their children are small, according to Hodgins. As children grow older, they make more of their own decisions, and these choices can cause their parents both headaches and heartache. Oftentimes, it is the parents of adult children who require the most guidance, the author asserts in this volume: “How does God use us to reach our adult children who don’t know God or who have strayed from their godly upbringing? He uses us primarily through prayer and by our own godly example of living and loving.” The topics, arranged alphabetically, cover concerns like coping, encouragement, finding joy, guilt, letting go, self-control, and waiting. Each subject contains a prose introduction with relevant quotes from Scripture, a prayer, and a notes area called Meditation Moments, in which readers are encouraged to write down how the lessons contained within that topic relate specifically to their lives. In the Finding Rest section, for example, Hodgins discusses the importance of peaceful moments, citing Exodus, Psalms, and other sources. “Lord, thank you for reminding me that I need to rest. Help me to use my time wisely and bring honor to you,” begins the prayer. The book concludes with lists of useful prayer tips, inspirational Bible verses, and a few more requests for parents to make on behalf of their children. Hodgins’ prose is so woven through with Bible verses that she doesn’t have much room to establish her own voice, though she is capable of occasional moments of lovely lucidity: “Time in God’s economy is totally different than ours. We don’t seem to consider that as we rush through our days.” The wide range of subjects covered means there are prayers for almost every occasion, and they are broad enough to remain relevant month after month. The prayers themselves are rather boilerplate, and the author’s Christian worldview falls definitively on the society is “getting further and further away from God” end of the spectrum. For readers with similar beliefs, this book should serve as an accessible and handy guide for reaffirming their faith on a daily basis.

A functional, if not groundbreaking, Christian devotional.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-9840-1

Page Count: 110

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 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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