Archive for February, 2010

How to Say It to Seniors

February 24, 2010

Geriatric psychologist Solie does an excellent job of debunking the myth that our elders are merely older versions of ourselves. Seniors are undergoing a developmental transition akin to adolescence; practical, effective communication methods are presented to help minimize generational conflict. This, in turn, paves the way for the important work of advocating for (instead of marginalizing) elders, who face a daily struggle for control. Though an age group isn’t numerically defined (it’s more a life stage), this makes an important contribution to our cultural understanding of “seniors” and is highly recommended for public libraries and professional collections. [An optional purchase].

This review appeared in Library Journal 129.15 on September 15, 2004, page 72+. The book was shredded February 24, 2010.

What About the Big Stuff?

February 10, 2010

With [this work], publishers continue to milk the desire for feel-good books. Carlson’s book will rev the engines of self-helpers without kicking them into drive. Like many of his previous titles (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff), his latest is observational and general, with generic wisdoms that quickly become repetitive. Entries wax on a range of topics, including divorce, stress, and the grieving process. Carlson misses more than he hits, although good points sometimes emerge, e.g., in “Dedicate Yourself to Mind-fullness,” he exhibits uncharacteristic clarity in advising readers to experience thoughts and emotions peacefully. Of little practical use, this is more a pep talk than a means to an end. Read it in conjunction with more focused titles like T.D. Jakes’s frankly Christian Woman Thou Art Loosed: Healing the Wounds of the Past. As with entries in the popular “Small Miracles,” “Taste Berries for Teens,” and “Chicken Soup” series, these books contain so much recycled material that libraries would be better off purchasing them only on demand. There are also serviceable single volumes like Barry and Joyce Vissell’s Meant To Be: Miraculous Stories To Inspire a Lifetime of Love or Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life.

This review appeared in Library Journal 127.19 on November 15, 2002, page 89+. The book was shredded February 10, 2010.