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A.C.E.S. FOR STUDENTS

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN THE FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE & BEYOND

A practical college guide that covers all the essentials with precision, respect, and reassuring authority.

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A comprehensive guide for beginning college students on what to expect and how to succeed.

A wide range of skills are needed to succeed in college, and Crump tackles them all with her “Achievement-driven,” “Capacity-informed,” “Enthusiasm-oriented,” “Skill-building-focused” (A.C.E.S.) method. The author divides the book into three parts, beginning with common emotional issues that face incoming freshmen. These include challenges like the development of self-identity: “You will also start forming and evaluating your self-image (i.e., how you see yourself), self-esteem (i.e., the value you place on yourself), and ideal self (i.e., the type of person you as­pire to be). At the same time, you will begin building your foundational understanding of your social identity...” Part 2 delves into practical advice on such topics as note-taking methods, learning strategies, and time management. The last section explores postcollege concerns and includes guidance on how to benefit from professors’ experience and prepare for a successful career. Fill-in worksheets contain reflective prompts based on their particular chapter’s material, such as “What is your life goal?”; “What resources do you use, and what resources do you need to meet this goal?”; “What motivates you to reach this goal?”; and “What current skills do you use to assist in meeting this goal?” Occasional diagrams will appeal to visual learners, and activities like a campus scavenger hunt encourage readers to physically explore their campus and resources. Crump’s advice proves to be both theoretical and practical—she offers many actionable tips in addition to research-backed information, from ideas for integrating multiple learning styles while taking notes to hacks for planning a class schedule to suggestions of pre-semester activities to help new students feel more comfortable on campus.

Crump’s voice remains clear and concise—almost clinical—throughout, lending the guide an authoritative air that further adds weight to her counsel (there is no warm and bubbly “You got this!” cheerleading). But this doesn’t mean the text is not encouraging—it’s simply good, solid advice given in a calm and knowledgeable way that will likely appeal to anyone who likes to have a game plan in place (but not so much to those who like to be coddled). Readers will likely find themselves highlighting every single one of Crump’s sentences, because everything here feels essential—even the layout is organized for maximum re-readability. The author never talks down to her audience, instead treating incoming freshmen as adults who are fully capable of forging successful lives for themselves at college: “You will likely use mul­tiple note-taking strategies to capture your knowledge of course material. As such, you may begin by outlining during the course lecture, then use the Cornell Method to write more detailed notes and summaries, and then engage in mind-mapping to synthesize the material to explain your under­standing to your professor.” Crump’s no-nonsense approach even extends to the softer topics she covers, such as tips for overcoming homesickness. She also spends some time encouraging readers to keep up with their “mental hygiene,” a phrase that delightfully captures the book’s down-to-earth approach to an often overwhelming experience.

A practical college guide that covers all the essentials with precision, respect, and reassuring authority.

Pub Date: May 18, 2023

ISBN: 9798218127923

Page Count: 186

Publisher: Àse Publishing Group

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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THE BACKYARD BIRD CHRONICLES

An ebullient nature lover’s paean to birds.

A charming bird journey with the bestselling author.

In his introduction to Tan’s “nature journal,” David Allen Sibley, the acclaimed ornithologist, nails the spirit of this book: a “collection of delightfully quirky, thoughtful, and personal observations of birds in sketches and words.” For years, Tan has looked out on her California backyard “paradise”—oaks, periwinkle vines, birch, Japanese maple, fuchsia shrubs—observing more than 60 species of birds, and she fashions her findings into delightful and approachable journal excerpts, accompanied by her gorgeous color sketches. As the entries—“a record of my life”—move along, the author becomes more adept at identifying and capturing them with words and pencils. Her first entry is September 16, 2017: Shortly after putting up hummingbird feeders, one of the tiny, delicate creatures landed on her hand and fed. “We have a relationship,” she writes. “I am in love.” By August 2018, her backyard “has become a menagerie of fledglings…all learning to fly.” Day by day, she has continued to learn more about the birds, their activities, and how she should relate to them; she also admits mistakes when they occur. In December 2018, she was excited to observe a Townsend’s Warbler—“Omigod! It’s looking at me. Displeased expression.” Battling pesky squirrels, Tan deployed Hot Pepper Suet to keep them away, and she deterred crows by hanging a fake one upside down. The author also declared war on outdoor cats when she learned they kill more than 1 billion birds per year. In May 2019, she notes that she spends $250 per month on beetle larvae. In June 2019, she confesses “spending more hours a day staring at birds than writing. How can I not?” Her last entry, on December 15, 2022, celebrates when an eating bird pauses, “looks and acknowledges I am there.”

An ebullient nature lover’s paean to birds.

Pub Date: April 23, 2024

ISBN: 9780593536131

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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