While it delivers an inviting spiritual approach, this guide could use additional personal details.

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TEN SPIRITUAL COMMITMENTS FOR A RICHER AND MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE

A self-help book offers teachings from an addiction recovery facility.

Beit T’Shuvah is a residential treatment center in California that is also a synagogue. Although addicts need not be Jewish to live there, events like Friday night Sabbath services are regular occurrences. Borovitz (Finding Recovery and Yourself in Torah, 2016, etc.) and Bergman (Nolo’s Deposition Handbook, 2018, etc.) assert that the goal of the facility is to lead everyone who enters, regardless of religious beliefs, to “a richer and more meaningful life,” albeit attaining that objective is not always an easy task. At the helm of the operation is Borovitz, a man who has had his own struggles with addiction and who has spent time in prison. The main crux of the book consists of his “ten spiritual commitments,” which are based on the Ten Commandments but also borrow from the teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous. These are concepts such as the fourth commitment, which encourages individuals to regularly assess their actions with “spiritual inventories.” Generally, readers are encouraged to take careful stock of their lives and seek improvement, even if it means becoming only one “grain of sand” better each day. The volume also features testaments from former residents of Beit T’Shuvah and others who have been involved with the organization. At under 200 pages, the book moves quickly, and it certainly delivers a unique perspective on spiritual self-help. Life lessons stemming from an addiction facility steeped in Judaism constitute an intriguing niche, and the counsel given is both practical and humble. But the manual would have benefited from a deeper embrace of its unusual angle. The statements from former residents are concise and often blunt (one ex-patient refers to his past self as “an addicted loser”), but they leave many questions. For instance, what was it like for a non-Jewish, recovering addict to attend Friday services for the first time? How did one’s experience at Beit T’Shuvah compare to other facilities? Nevertheless, the work deftly illustrates that people’s spiritual journeys, whether they suffer from addictions or not, are not easy. And who better to give advice than those who have traveled on some particularly rocky roads?

While it delivers an inviting spiritual approach, this guide could use additional personal details.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5462-5207-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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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