An in-depth, intellectually stimulating relationship guide that manages to be conversational and clear in its delivery.

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GRATEFUL FOR THE FIGHT

USING INNER CONFLICT TO TRANSFORM YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

A debut manual challenges readers to explore the “unwanted self” and how it affects relationships, conflicts, and perceptions.

Neufeld skips past the traditional conflict-management advice readers often find in self-help books, diving straight into the core of what ignites clashes in relationships. Having little to do with the dynamic between two people, conflicts actually arise, the author explains, from the sore spots and perceptions of the unwanted self. Looking at expectations and desires, she encourages readers to reflect on feelings sparked by relationship battles that might be rooted deeply in early beliefs formed about themselves: both the ideal and the unwanted selves. Rather than advocating basic listening and expressing patterns, the author suggests internal questioning and self-reflection that deeply examine the positive side of conflict: its power to propel individuals toward progress and constructive change. The author recommends that readers pause and consider how they create trouble in relationships, stating the specific causes and identifying the behaviors. This serves as a catalyst for choosing growth and change instead of the same patterns. In an incisive chapter entitled “Warming Up to the Unwanted Self,” Neufeld deftly describes the tension between the desires of the self and the fear of becoming the unwanted, rejected version of the self. For example, the author uses this juxtaposition: “I want to be a passionate lover but that makes me feel guilty and self-indulgent. Not being able to let go makes me feel like an inadequate lover.” This clear naming of the struggle between the self and the ego is what distinguishes this book from others in its genre. Rather than quick solutions for better communication, Neufeld offers powerful tools for self-reflection and personal metamorphosis. By defining those triggers that repeatedly produce fights, readers can self-actualize, resulting in improved relationships with others. Another of the book’s strengths is its avoidance of binaries and its dedication to studying the positives and negatives of common themes like shame, criticism, and rejection. “How much should we care about what people think?” she asks. “When we seek an answer to this question by navigating between the polarized positions of caring too much and not caring at all, we enact a necessary internal struggle.” The manual culminates in a chapter on how to deal with others differently by embracing new self-awareness and relationship aspirations.

An in-depth, intellectually stimulating relationship guide that manages to be conversational and clear in its delivery.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5255-1406-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2017

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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 LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

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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