A feisty, real-world guide to getting ahead in corporate America.




A savvy corporate worker shares her secrets of success.

Debut author Jones fell into the corporate world by accident. After graduating from high school, she worked a variety of menial jobs in Denver. She moved to Chicago in 1984 at age 22 for what she thought would be a short-term stint; her aunt worked for an insurance company there that offered a $300 referral fee, and she convinced Jones to try out for a temporary file-clerk spot. The author didn’t want the gig, and did all she could to sabotage the interview, including wearing ripped clothing. To her surprise, however, she got the job; a manager said, “She’s here. We need someone today. It’s temporary. How bad could it be?” Thus began Jones’ corporate career in which she “clawed [her] way up” to various higher-level positions in the insurance industry, eventually also earning her bachelor’s degree. In this memoir, she offers a host of cynical yet practical navigation tips for other go-getters, using her own experiences to illustrate her points. She outlines how to leverage entry-level jobs (including when to read other people’s mail and what to do with that information), how to take down your competition (she once called a headhunter while pretending to be a colleague, leading to the latter’s exit) and how to spot the “weak gazelles”—less-threatening colleagues to bring with you in your ascent. However, her tales of helping such colleagues seem more benevolent than self-interested, and readers may suspect that she achieved what she did largely by being a smart, hard worker instead of a Machiavellian power player. Overall, the book seems more interested in money and power than it is in the insurance industry. However, the author’s energy and ambition is infectious, and her proclamation at the end of this book (“I have a little less than twenty years left in this industry, and I plan to make every day count”) may prove inspirational to striving workers everywhere.

A feisty, real-world guide to getting ahead in corporate America.

Pub Date: March 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0989663809

Page Count: 196

Publisher: B I C Book Publications

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2014

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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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