Thoughtful and enlightening; sure to be a calming and reassuring resource for caregivers.




A guide salutes the unsung hero status of caregivers.

There are over 43 million unpaid caregivers in the United States, more than 34 million of whom have provided assistance to an adult age 50 or older, according to statistics cited by Chillis (Misery at Work?, 2015, etc.). The author looked after her husband full-time for three years, and she is currently a certified caregiver consultant; as such, she deeply understands the highs and lows of a role that can be both challenging and rewarding. When Chillis kept seeing “heart-wrenching, negative feelings” expressed by caregivers, she decided to write a book about the care that they needed to give themselves. The compassionate manual begins by highlighting some myths and truths about the role, but most of the content surrounds seven “secrets” designed to help caregivers maintain an upbeat outlook. The first “secret,” for example, provides an excellent overview of different emotions, such as guilt, resentment, and grief. The author defines each one, discusses why it matters, uses examples to show its effect, and presents coping techniques. Another “secret” concentrates on how to resolve conflict within the family, delivering useful tips and urging mediation when all else fails. The final secret appropriately addresses the complex feelings of the caregiver after the loved one is gone. The work covers a broad range of topics within the secrets, focusing on physical, mental, and emotional health issues. Each of the secrets contains illustrative anecdotes involving caregivers, along with “tools” and “tip sheets” to assist in implementing strategies, all of which are simple yet powerful. The book is written in easy-to-follow language with lots of subheads, short sections, itemized lists, and “key takeaways” in each chapter. One of the more important elements is the heavy reliance on the stories of caregivers—sure to furnish readers the comforting sense that they are not alone in facing the various problems. Throughout the volume, Chillis adopts a positive, encouraging tone, recognizing that the caregiver may be emotionally frayed and in need of gentle coaching and guidance.

Thoughtful and enlightening; sure to be a calming and reassuring resource for caregivers.

Pub Date: June 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-988645-22-3

Page Count: 220

Publisher: Wellness Ink Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2019

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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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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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