Intriguing and pioneering, but business neophytes should proceed with caution.



An entrepreneur’s ambitious plan for launching a business in 30 days.

The tantalizing promise of this engaging book—that it’s possible to start a business by spending one hour a day for 30 days—sounds too good to be true. But serial entrepreneur Dontha (365+ Prompts for a Gratitude Journal, 2019, etc.) isn’t joking. Touting “agile entrepreneurship,” a process he borrowed from software developers, Dontha cleverly structures the book with 30 chapters, each highlighting a discrete business-building area or task. Every chapter begins with the story of a different small-scale entrepreneur who employed the agile approach to succeed, providing welcome credibility. This is followed by specific steps required to complete the chapter’s task along with a quick “self-assessment,” essentially quizzing readers on their progress. What’s impressive about this method is that the author does indeed cover virtually every basic element of a business startup; embedded in the 30 days are principles of sales, customer service, human resources, logistics, management, marketing, and accounting and finance. Splitting the tasks into 30 days makes the potentially overwhelming challenge of getting a business up and running seem manageable, and the author has a gift for simplifying complex tasks by dividing them into microtasks, each to be completed within a certain time frame. Yet this is where some readers may take issue with the notion of agile entrepreneurship. Early on, the author describes agile entrepreneurs as believing in “Fast over methodical. Done now over done well.…If you’re agile, you get to revenue as fast as you can.” Sounds great—but sometimes speed works against quality. For example, the “agile approach to business branding” suggests devoting 60 minutes to three subtasks: define brand identity elements (10 minutes), create or outsource a logo (30 minutes), and write a tagline (20 minutes). Another chapter suggests that a business plan can be completed in 60 minutes. These time frames may seem unrealistic—if not frankly unfeasible—for a business that hopes for a quality output. Still, Dontha has found a unique, creative way to get a handle on the business startup process.

Intriguing and pioneering, but business neophytes should proceed with caution.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73346-513-7

Page Count: 252

Publisher: Eusophix International Corporation

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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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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