Sincere and well-intentioned, if somewhat-formulaic, counsel on starting a business.

EMBRACING FAILURE

Advice for budding entrepreneurs about the fear of failure.

The message of this debut can be easily summed up in a phrase from its opening chapter: “fear and adversity are not your enemies.” They are worthwhile, legitimate concerns, particularly for those who are pondering starting a business; indeed, fear of failure can be paralyzing for many entrepreneurs. Pelletier, a principal at Pelletier Construction Management, draws from his own experience to show how one learns from setbacks, overcomes them, and perseveres throughout one’s career. He refers to a few other figures who found success after failure—such as Matthew Webb, the first person to successfully swim the English Channel—but the book is more about providing advice, rather than examples. The content seems overly familiar at times; for example, goal-setting is found in virtually every self-help book, and a chapter on the downside of “doing nothing” is elementary. A “road map to success” is quite basic as well. However, the book does offer a few memorable ideas, such as the author’s four-step “recipe for success”: accepting risk, experiencing fear, learning from failure, and then repeating the process. The book’s focus on the contrast between the “abundance mindset” and the “scarcity mindset” is also engaging; although it’s essentially another way of expressing the difference between optimism and pessimism, Pelletier offers a clear explanation and provides decent advice on how to change a scarcity mindset. A discussion of “enablers,” who reinforce failure instead of providing encouragement, is similarly worthwhile. Pelletier’s advice about personal financial discipline may be most useful to young entrepreneurs, as when he counsels the reader to “live below your means,” “trust your nest egg,” and “remain humble.” An accompanying reading list of seven books is helpful but could have been more robust.

Sincere and well-intentioned, if somewhat-formulaic, counsel on starting a business.

Pub Date: May 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0330-1

Page Count: 142

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2019

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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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