A highly readable motivational book derived from the wisdom of one humble man.

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LESSONS FROM MY GRANDFATHER

WISDOM FOR SUCCESS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE

A grandson applies the lessons of his grandfather to the world of business—and life in general.

Demetriou’s nonfiction debut starts out by focusing on his grandfather Haralambos Georgiou Pistis—known as Charlie—an immigrant to America from a small village in Cyprus. Charlie came through Ellis Island, as thousands of others did. He died a very old man when the author was in his 30s, and he imparted many life lessons about humility, faith, courage, independence, responsibility, duty, decency, compassion, goodness, and pride that Demetriou not only treasured and remembered, but also later applied to a long career in business. The book’s first section—an exuberantly affectionate stretch that could easily have been three times as long—is a biography of Charlie, complete with smile-inducing old photos of a handsome young man very obviously intent on seizing whatever opportunities the New World had to offer. This section flows immediately into the 15 core principles Demetriou distilled from all of his grandfather's advice. Although these principles will likely offer nothing new to readers of business-advice books—take big risks, remain humble, go the extra mile, never be afraid to chase your dreams, etc.—the transition from period biography to motivational rhetoric is handled smoothly. The author expands outward from echoing his grandfather to quoting the more or less standard array of inspirational heroes in this kind of literature, from Albert Einstein to Jeff Bezos. As with most motivational writing, Demetriou’s own personal desire to help his readers believe in themselves can sometimes lead him to make statements that are obviously wishful thinking (as when he tells them that “the lazy and uninspired will never inherit the earth, nor even the slightest speck of it” while a glance at any day’s news headlines will show them otherwise). But the overall tone of buoyant optimism—“You are invited to change the world”—should carry most of those readers along and make them wish they’d had the chance to meet Charlie.

A highly readable motivational book derived from the wisdom of one humble man.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9989840-0-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Highpoint Life

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 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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