A practical guide that will bring relief to its readers.



A debut personal-growth manual that asserts that understanding the unconscious motives of “difficult people” can lead to better relationships.

Elliston, a volunteer coordinator for the United Way and a former high school teacher, writes that she used to be surprised by the reactions she would get from some of her colleagues in the nonprofit community, who either avoided or criticized her. Her supervisors frequently mentioned Elliston being “difficult” and having “a need for improved communication skills,” which just added to her bewilderment. She only began to realize how she appeared to others when one supervisor confronted her with specifics about the offending behavior: storming around the office while muttering to herself, “lifting things up and dropping them,” and generally raising the anxiety level of the office. The supervisor added that it was clear that Elliston wasn’t aware of her own conduct and the effects it had on others, but it still had to stop. Stunned, the author searched for why she was so blind to her own actions, and why no one had pointed them out earlier. She quizzed her family members and examined her own childhood, and she uncovered maladaptive habits, such as criticizing, complaining, and blaming, that she mistakenly believed would win her approval. In this book, Elliston suggests techniques for looking beyond “difficult” people’s aggression to understand their fears, their senses of inferiority, and their struggles to be accepted. Posing questions and performing exercises, she says, can lead to a greater understanding of others’ behavior, and techniques drawn from Choice Theory and Reality Therapy offer guidelines for early, though not painless, intervention and necessary conversations. This isn’t just another book about dealing with annoying co-workers, but a fresh look at why they can seem so oblivious. Readers will likely break out the highlighter to record memorable points. Elliston’s suggestions, drawn from the work of Drs. William Glasser, Sidney B. Simon, and Thomas Gordon, will cut through readers’ dread as they plan discussions with others. At times, Elliston’s focus on childhood traumas as causes of “difficult” behavior seems too pat, but her insights and work plan never are.

A practical guide that will bring relief to its readers.

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62747-406-1

Page Count: 173

Publisher: Sojourn Publishing LLC

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2017

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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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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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