A smart, entertaining read on caring for our gray matter.


Your Healthy Brain


A comprehensive guide to the workings, care, and history of the brain.

While he’s not the first to do so, debut author Kiraly eloquently and occasionally humorously makes the case that the brain should be conceptualized in the same manner that we conceptualize our hearts or lungs—as an integral physical component of our beings that requires excellent diet and exercise—both of the mental and physical varieties. After all, a sick brain produces a sick body. The text makes the case that a long life span isn’t necessarily a happy one, especially if one’s health gives out midway, a concept that is represented by the YUC factor, or years under medical care. To this end, the book is divided into two principal sections. The first provides a layman’s guide to the brain’s basic functions and history; the second details which nutrients, activities, and behaviors are helpful or harmful. When describing the effects of stress, Kiraly notes, “Cortisol is the hormone of death!” These energetic proclamations make the book an easy and even fun read. This is purposeful: Kiraly explains in his preface that he is addressing a general audience (the book “will suffice unless you plan to go to medical school”), but he still includes technical charts and graphs to support his case. As a result, the blend of humorous, anecdotal prose with frequent visual breaks fosters a pop-science feel that is engaging and informed but never stuffy. Drawing on a wealth of recent data and debunking years of misconceptions and ignorance, Kiraly has written a work that is as full of fascinating cocktail-party tidbits as it is deeply researched concepts about how the medical professional and individual should care for the brain. 

A smart, entertaining read on caring for our gray matter.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-48-341480-5

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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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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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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