A self-help book featuring tactics to overcome worry and reframe life’s low moments.
Dickason (Blood of the Dragon, 2000) brings his experiences training real estate salespeople and living with social anxiety to tell how he unlocked what he calls his “dormant superpowers”—the ability to face his fears head-on. With an upbeat attitude and quirky sense of humor, he breaks down complex psychological and scientific concepts in easy-to-understand lessons, such as his take on the brain’s Reticular Activating System (which is responsible for regulating wakefulness) and his explanation of how humans develop and respond to fears. Although some of his familiar suggestions, such as listening to one’s recorded voice repeating affirmations over and over, may not appeal to some readers, Dickason does effectively uses them to detail his own personal development, showing how he learned to address his anxieties in new ways. Along with his own thoughts and practices, he offers relevant quotes from spiritual leaders, inspirational gurus, and behavioral psychologists and elaborates upon them. Each chapter ends with a “superpower summary” that will allow readers to absorb the advice a bit at a time. Dickason’s history of selling real estate and teaching others to do so comes up repeatedly, which may wear on the casual reader. However, others will enjoy his comforting style and references. For further reading, he includes an annotated list of works, including some by big names, such as Deepak Chopra and Stephen R. Covey; he also lists books of quotations for those who enjoy the inspirational one-liners in this text.
Self-help aficionados won’t find much that’s new in this book, but Dickason’s engaging, personal style makes it an entertaining read.
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)
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").