A wide-ranging collection of cautionary tales for business owners along with tips and suggestions of mixed quality and...

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THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT CASH

A consultant advises small-business owners on managing cash flow and combatting fraud.

In this book, King (The Courage to Be Profitable, 2013, etc.) presents stories of company owners who have encountered careless cash-handling practices; employee theft; ineffective accounting; and problems with inventory management that have hampered their financial success. In short, first-person accounts, the author presents each tale in its own chapter (“My Bookkeeper Had Too Many Excuses”; “I Was Losing a Nickel for Every Dollar I Generated”) along with an accompanying bulleted list of tips and action items based on lessons learned by the section’s narrator. Most of the vignettes have happy endings, with the business owner able to make good on the loss and avoid the difficulty going forward, though a few conclude with a sadder but wiser person learning a painful lesson. King does an excellent job of presenting helpful information with clarity and without jargon. But the tips presented in the book vary in usefulness and applicability, ranging from the fundamental (stories that show the dangers of failing to understand profit margin or the accrual method of accounting) to the practical (repeated reminders to establish safe and effective procedures for managing cash payments) to the almost paranoid (“If you can’t log into your employees’ computers, walk to the person’s desk and ask that person to print out the report you need while you are watching”). Some of the business owners featured in the anecdotes recommend extreme micromanaging to the detriment of employee morale: “I never realized how much eating at their desks actually cost me. When I calculated the number, I stopped allowing eating at their desks and enforced the lunch hour policy. The employees weren’t happy about it but complied.” But readers who judiciously evaluate the advice, avoiding the more extreme methods of employee control, should find a number of valuable ideas for improving profitability and increasing cash flow in small and closely held businesses.

A wide-ranging collection of cautionary tales for business owners along with tips and suggestions of mixed quality and efficacy.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61005-935-0

Page Count: 194

Publisher: BookLogix

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2018

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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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