An engagingly written work about people struggling with a “jungle of thoughts, emotions, sensitivities, questions, dreams,...

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YOUR RAINFOREST MIND

A GUIDE TO THE WELL-BEING OF GIFTED ADULTS AND YOUTH

Psychotherapist Prober describes her concept of a “rainforest mind” in this debut resource aimed at “excessively curious, idealistic, sensitive, [and] highly intelligent” people.

The author seeks to provide those who’ve been labeled “gifted” with the intellectual tools they need to thrive in the world. Prober transitioned to a career in mental health after a short stint as a middle school teacher, during which she was introduced to the concept of gifted children. She developed the idea of “rainforest minds” while seeking a less controversial term to describe such students. People with rainforest minds, she asserts, tend to be highly empathetic, often to the point of feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world and the suffering of others. The author presents case studies of rainforest-minded people who sought her help during her 30 years as a therapist. Many suffered abuse or neglect as children, struggled to excel in school, and found interpersonal relationships difficult to form and maintain. Prober also discusses the common occurrence of crippling anxiety, perfectionism, and the “impostor phenomenon” among those with rainforest minds. The author structures each chapter around a central theme and then provides a list of strategies, further readings, and other resources at the end. She says that not all of her potential solutions will work for everyone; she also suggests that some people consider being tested for ADHD and offers a study of a patient with both an attention deficit disorder and a rainforest mind. The obvious compassion that Prober feels for others—much like the empathy of those she counsels—prevents the text from feeling clinical, and her knowledge and experience provide a gravitas that many other self-help volumes lack. The author does show awareness of the limitations of her studies, which are mainly based on a largely homogenous patient population, but her honesty throughout makes her text feel earnest and convincing.

An engagingly written work about people struggling with a “jungle of thoughts, emotions, sensitivities, questions, dreams, worries,” among other concerns.

Pub Date: June 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-71310-5

Page Count: 193

Publisher: GHF Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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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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