An impassioned, if at times unfocused, plea for making the world a better place by identifying and addressing the...


Part workbook, part memoir, this self-help guide offers a plan for getting beyond trauma-induced pain to enjoy a better quality of life.

According to this manual, honoring “your journey” involves finding a way to make peace with the hand you’ve been dealt in life. A first step is recognizing choices, and how individuals may use “detours” like drugs, self-pity, and depression to blunt the effects of psychic wounds. This first-person narrative contains tools for overcoming mental distress, beginning with how to reframe terrible experiences to let go of damaging emotions like anger and resentment. Other topics include how to build self-esteem and establish boundaries, the value of identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, and the need to express compassion for oneself and others. Special attention is given to the subject of regrets, and how to manage and minimize them to make it possible to move forward in the aftermath of a trauma. To reinforce the content, exercises and questions for self-examination are listed at the end of each chapter. In this book, Gilbert (You Can’t Un-Ring the Bell, 2016), a clinical psychologist, includes personal anecdotes to illustrate her hard-won insights. Though at times she overuses clichés like “be all you can be,” it’s evident she’s carried the burden of treating some of society’s mentally sickest people, including criminally violent offenders and their innocent victims, causing her to suffer from “vicarious post-traumatic stress.” Her outlook is often bleak in spite of the positive message she’s trying to convey; she’s clearly seen the dark side of humanity: “I have actually looked into the eyes of evil on more than one occasion and I’ll never forget it.” Countering her despair is the hope she derives from her strong Christian faith, which she distinguishes from organized religion. Though the book flows well, the organization is loose with occasional repetitions. Still, the author’s sincerity and credibility shine through every section.

An impassioned, if at times unfocused, plea for making the world a better place by identifying and addressing the impediments to good mental health. 

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4327-7907-8

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 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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