Brennan’s tell-it-like-it-is approach and unique perspective turn this financial book into an engaging read.

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The C Route to Practical Financial Advice

HOW TO BUILD WEALTH IN 8 STEPS; A GUIDE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

A seasoned financial journalist offers easy-to-follow tips for building wealth in his debut.

Brennan, a longtime business reporter for outlets such as Bloomberg News, offers down-to-earth financial advice that aims to help the average Joe become and stay rich. He begins with a simple assumption: “Everyone does want your money.” The best way for innocent, hardworking Americans to protect themselves from ruthless financial sharks, he says, is to be aware of his book’s eight Cs: counsel, commentary, career, costs, crooks, castles (real estate), currency and the investment choices of a family called the Coads. Keeping these in mind, he argues, will help one think like a successful executive and build wealth. Each chapter of this slim volume delves into a different area, such as whom to turn to for financial advice or the pleasures and perils of investing in real estate. The author’s tone is no-nonsense, and he doesn’t pull punches; among his words of wisdom: “Don’t ever take advice from someone wearing a Che Guevara shirt” and “You can find…houses in Detroit now for only a few thousand dollars. Don’t buy one.” That said, the blunt, straight talk sometimes veers into curmudgeonly territory, as when the author lambasts his friend’s decision to become a massage therapist or dismisses Occupy Wall Street as a “crowd of youngsters.” Still, Brennan is well-informed and often persuasive, even when his advice runs counter to conventional wisdom; at one point, for example, he offers a detailed argument for buying new, rather than used, cars. Also helpful are his many detailed illustrations of financial concepts, including a chart that shows why investors are better off buying a bond than a boat. His section on investment scams is particularly enlightening; he offers telling anecdotes about the behavior of con artists, drawn from his own time as a reporter. Sometimes, however, Brennan’s media background gets in the way, particularly in the chapter on “commentary,” which he takes as an opportunity to discuss the implosion of the daily-newspaper business, the rise of social media and the importance of fact checking. It’s engaging material on its own, but it reads like a chapter from another book.

Brennan’s tell-it-like-it-is approach and unique perspective turn this financial book into an engaging read.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0990792505

Page Count: 170

Publisher: EIJ Publshing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2014

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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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