Illuminating and forward-thinking; demonstrates how to leverage gig workers for time-saving life tasks.



A veteran of big tech extols the virtues of the gig economy.

Estes, who held a senior position at Microsoft, uses this lively debut as a soapbox for a kind of career–personal life equilibrium he says can be achieved through adopting a “Gig Mindset.” If the gig economy is “fundamentally changing the world of work,” then the Gig Mindset “changes the way we work forever,” writes the author, who advocates employing “on-demand experts to reclaim our time.” Estes discovered the value of relying on talented freelance professionals to get things done, and it revolutionized his life. He cleverly developed a process to take full advantage of the gig economy that he calls “The T.I.D.E. Model: Taskify, Identify, Delegate, and Evolve.” Using engaging, motivational text supplemented by examples primarily from his own experience, the author walks readers through these four elements in detail. Of great interest are the excerpts of interviews he conducted with a panel of five senior executives, each of whom provides commentary that enriches and shapes the Gig Mindset conversation. T.I.D.E. itself is an intriguing concept; still, each of the four elements has intrinsic value that applies to business management in general. For example, Estes discusses a concept he calls “radical delegation,” which involves setting expectations, developing timelines, and trusting others to execute tasks. He offers seven specific steps he recommends for practicing effective delegation. Regarding the need to think differently, GE executive Dyan Finkhousen tells Estes: “The truth is that engaging with gig resources required an evolution of our own mindsets and behaviors.” The author wraps up the book with some key observations by his panelists and himself about negative perceptions surrounding the gig economy. Tucker Max, bestselling author and co-founder of a publishing service called Scribe Media, says about the myth implying freelancers are subpar: “That people are freelance because they can’t get a full-time job. It’s nonsense….In fact, we find overall the freelance pool to be far higher talent than the people applying” for full-time jobs. Two appendices—gig-related tasks for business and home—are useful additions.

Illuminating and forward-thinking; demonstrates how to leverage gig workers for time-saving life tasks.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0632-6

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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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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An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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