A real-world approach to achieving sustainable weight loss.




A safety trainer and manager shares the 60-day eating and activity plan he created to shed unwanted pounds in this debut health guide.

Sasser (The Good Hand, 2016) says that he tried many ways to lose weight, including hormone injections, but the pounds just wouldn’t stay off. He then realized that “in order to make any real change, I had to find a balance of diet—meaning the foods I ate—and exercise (I didn’t even like the word) that would be sustainable.” In this book, Sasser details the plan he created that allowed him to drop from 223.8 to 194.4 pounds in 60 days. He focuses specifically on his use of a “Food and Activity Tracker,” a grid-oriented tool he developed to capture and chart progress (or lack thereof). He emphasizes the “Nutrition Math” of making better food choices, controlling portions, and limiting sodium and sugar intake. He also prescribes doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, but notes that it doesn’t have to be at a gym: it could be done by walking, dancing, or doing other common activities. He says that he uses the word “activity” instead of “exercise” intentionally for this reason, much as he used the term “incident” instead of “accident” in his safety career. Other elements of his plan (and tracker) urge readers to record weight before having a breakfast of 300 to 500 calories, and to have two low-calorie snacks in addition to regular meals; he also suggests that readers list any daily alcohol intake in a separate column, in order to be fully aware of their extra calories. Overall, Sasser is an appealing, relatable guide to handling the challenges of exercising and eating, particularly when he acknowledges his own fluctuations and missteps, such as an instance in which he quaffed eight light beers in one day, while hanging out at a pool. However, the author’s own, filled-in trackers with accompanying commentary take up too much of this slim book, and readers may sometimes find them wearying. Still, by providing such “evidence,” Sasser does effectively support his contention that “You didn’t put on all the unwanted weight in a day or week, and you are not going to lose all of the unwanted weight in a day or week.”

A real-world approach to achieving sustainable weight loss.

Pub Date: July 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4575-3788-2

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2017

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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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