A successful and readable wellness and self-improvement manual.




A debut guide to health and happiness prescribes thought systems and practices to improve readers’ quality of life.

El Zein knows a lot about the journey to fulfillment. Drawing from her experiences of silent retreats, meditation, reading, learning events, and online research, she delivers a conversational and helpful strategy for removing some of life’s major obstacles to fulfillment. Discussing empathy, human connection, and the inner self, the author pushes readers to challenge negative beliefs and adopt positive practices that will enrich personal relationships and themselves. Commitment to healthy habits is emphasized as one of the most important ways to tackle anxiety. Pain and worry, El Zein explains, are often more comfortable to deal with than the change and work required to alleviate them permanently by digging deep into the soul for the foundation of the torments creating stress. The author references other thinkers and motivators, like Tony Robbins, and posits important principles, such as keeping the self in its “peak state” to achieve the best results. Commitment and fortification of goals are two mantras that ripple throughout the manual. In the later parts of the book, El Zein writes about confronting fear. She uses many famous figures as examples of people who overcame impairments and self-doubts in order to achieve their goals. From Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) to Tom Cruise, the author employs anecdotes about well-known celebrities to show that sometimes setbacks can become springboards to success. El Zein ends with healthy nutrition tips and thoughts about hydration, exercise, and body image. Cleverly describing her cerebral program as a “mental diet,” the author handles thought processes and beliefs in the same way that she deals with beneficial foods. By feeding themselves constructive, affirming thoughts rather than criticisms and qualms, readers will alter their present states, according to the author. Overall, the book is lucid, full of effective ideas, and refreshing in its approach to positive steps toward self-reinforcement and change.

A successful and readable wellness and self-improvement manual.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-9-94839-700-7

Page Count: 251

Publisher: Be You International

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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