An energetic, interactive guide that encourages Christians to love themselves in order to love others.

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A MESSAGE OF LOVE

A short Christian meditation explores the nature of love and self-love.

“What is your definition of love?” Sandra asks in her nonfiction debut, laying out a call for embracing self-love as a foundation for pursuing a deeper bond with the Christian God. One big benefit of loving ourselves, according to the author, is that it allows us to “begin to accept ourselves for who we are in Christ.” We realize greater self-esteem when we welcome who we are, the book asserts, and “when we believe that we are entitled to greatness, purpose, and blessings, we demand it and receive it.” Each of the manual’s quick, clearly written chapters ends with a recap of its contents, a “proclamation” designed to help readers turn sentiments into actions, and a suggested activity to give form to those efforts. Sandra illustrates her points with quotes from Scripture and incidents from her own life and the lives of others, stressing the fine line between loving yourself and loving others in correct balance. “Love is bigger than you and me,” she writes. Loving someone means being “willing” to rank that person’s “happiness on the same level as your own.” And yet “love is helping one another without being abused; giving, but not being used!” This balancing act can sometimes be a problem for a philosophy of self-love, of course, as can be seen, for example, in that previous quote. Christians are explicitly instructed to love others even while being abused by them (Matthew 5:38-39, etc.). A similar difficulty arises when the author encourages readers to “celebrate your achievements. Acknowledge your feelings, forgive yourself, and then work on letting go so you can move on with your life.” There is a perennial conflict between modern self-help books urging self-love and Christian teachings advocating self-abnegation in service to others, and that clash isn’t solved or even addressed in this volume. What readers get instead is reassuring self-affirmation delivered in brisk prose.

An energetic, interactive guide that encourages Christians to love themselves in order to love others.

Pub Date: July 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4990-6218-2

Page Count: 52

Publisher: XlibrisUS

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2019

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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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