A calm, clear, and encouraging read for mothers who seek to optimize their children’s well-being.




This debut parenting book by a teacher and mother of three provides instructions on how to meet children’s needs and build a supportive family.

Bartow is a certified professional life coach, and she has gleaned many observations about parenting and child behavior from her years as an educator. She also worked to raise her own children to be happy, successful adults. In this book, she provides detailed insights into “how to be the mom your children truly need,” as the book’s subtitle promises. She presents them in the form of 12 chapters, each covering an emotional, mental, or spiritual gift that a mother can provide a child. For example, “The Gift of Intrinsic Motivation” discusses the importance of having children do tasks with the goal of doing their best rather than with the expectation of a reward. Bartow gives examples of her own daughter’s labors with difficult schoolwork and tells of the pride that the youngster had with its completion. Although the book specifically focuses on the role of mothers, it also offers reflections on how parents can collaborate, especially in a chapter titled “The Gift of a United Front.” The author explains her concepts simply and backs them up with examples from her own life—most often from her parenting but also from her time in the classroom. Memories of her own childhood, too, provide a window into a youngster’s perceptions and concerns. Overall, Bartow writes with a clear, deliberate voice that’s easy to follow. One of her key messages is the importance of being honest and direct with children in all circumstances—from preparing young tots for trips to the supermarket to discussing the topic of sex with adolescents. She also illustrates how children can learn valuable lessons when they’re allowed to have their own experiences and aren’t protected from challenges or natural consequences. However, Bartow distinguishes punishment, which she characterizes as a hurtful, vindictive response, from discipline, which she paints as a logical, appropriate action. The book also covers religious faith, urging mothers to allow their children to explore it even when their own beliefs may differ.  

A calm, clear, and encouraging read for mothers who seek to optimize their children’s well-being.

Pub Date: March 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4834-4735-3

Page Count: 238

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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