A well-researched, if scattered, guide to making positive changes.




A registered nurse, chiropractor, and acupuncturist explores why habits form and how to break them.

Debut author Heyman draws from her professional experiences to demystify how habits develop and offer strategies to squelch the harmful ones. “Forty to 45 percent of our daily actions are based on habits,” she states in her introduction. Given that so much of human behavior is routine, it’s no wonder habits are hard to break. “The brain is basically lazy,” Heyman explains. “If it has the opportunity to funnel behaviors to a place where they become automatic, requiring little conscious thinking, it will do so in a flash.” Habits begin with a cue that leads to a response followed by a reward. The brain remembers the reward and automates the cycle. Habits streamline life, but they can also result in patterns that jeopardize health. Resolve alone isn’t enough to overcome a bad habit: “Willpower is like a muscle. It loses strength, gets tired and is depleted after overuse.” To change, people must have motivation and readiness. Heyman lays out six different theories on how the former arises and six stages of the latter. She supplements these steps with stories of people who have successfully changed habits like interrupting, compulsive shopping, bingeing, and obsessive Facebook checking. Common threads among those who triumphed include making “s.m.a.r.t.” (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time framed) goals, rewarding oneself, keeping a journal to track victories, and stating objectives in a positive tone. The author delivers plenty of useful advice for sustaining good habits: she advocates a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and meditation. She also touches briefly on spiritual habits, such as prayers and mantras. Heyman emphasizes the importance of awareness, action, and accountability: “The real problem is not ignorance; it’s non-compliance,” she insists. While the author’s tone is affable, providing clear explanations and rendering her key points in boldface or with bullets, this book is less of a step-by-step manual and more of a theoretical buffet. If one has difficulty effecting change, this volume’s plethora of approaches might overwhelm and prevent the kind of commitment required for habit-breaking.

A well-researched, if scattered, guide to making positive changes.

Pub Date: March 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4787-7830-1

Page Count: 182

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2017

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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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