Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

Perfection remains a kind of Holy Grail for those who hope to do something so well that its execution can stand sturdily unto itself — utterly unblemished by the rest of the universe, and held infinitely beyond all manner of reproach. Yet, there’s the rub when it comes to perfection — there is no such thing, a point made well and repeatedly throughout Julian Reeve’s new self-help book for kids, Captain Perfection & the Secret of Self-Compassion ($9.99 USD, Buddha Perfect, LLC).

Though designed for readers between the ages of 6–10, this is the kind of…

by Thalma Lobel

Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

The weekend before I received this book to review, I had re-watched a Woody Allen film from 2009 starring Larry David titled Whatever Works. Perhaps influenced by the rampant pessimism displayed by David’s character throughout much of that movie, my immediate thought was that this was bad timing for a book based on interpersonal improvements within the workplace. After all, I reasoned, isn’t much of the country either furloughed or stuck working remotely at home due to Covid-19? And for those who have returned to their offices, how much emphasis could be placed on…

Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

I admit, without a shred of shame, that I have watched Stanley Kubrick’s films repeatedly during my nearly five decades rooted to this vast spinning globe. The pattern was set at age 11, when a “pan-scan” VHS copy of his 1968 legendary sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, filled me with such wonderment — and fear — that a week would not go by without me watching it again, scooping up a handful of new things on each viewing. Upon seeing it in proper “widescreen” format on PBS-TV a few years later — and recording that airing…

Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book
and Movie of All Time
by Stephen Rebello
Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

Who among us can take a shower without thinking of composer Bernard Herrmann’s high-pitch shrieking violins from Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller, Psycho? At the same time, who has ever seen Valley of the Dolls and not come away from it touched deeply by Dionne Warwick’s heartbreaking performance of the film’s theme — a lushly appointed song written by Andre Previn with then-wife Dory Previn, and conducted and arranged by John Williams, who would emerge less than a decade later…

by Joseph J. Luciani, PhD
Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

Full disclosure: Please note that your humble reviewer finished reading this book exactly thirty-five days ago. He knows this for a fact because that was when he began the “mind-brain unlearning” process for himself, outlined wonderfully by author and internationally esteemed psychologist Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D. as the “Forty-Four Daily Inspirational Pep Talks” that are designed specifically to guide his readers in Unlearning Anxiety & Depression ($14.95 USD, Goodman Beck Publishing). Today’s pep talk — listed by Dr. Luciani as “Day 35: Yes, you can!” — appears as follows, and sharing it…

How a Massive Stroke Changed My Life for the Better by Ted W. Baxter

Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

Fear.

Reach a certain age, and “fear” seems to become the chief theme of “life” — two four-letter words stretched tight atop the void. From our first cradle stirrings, a fear of death is buried so deeply in our DNA that it remains a largely existential matter for most. After all, the old saying goes that we begin to die just as we are born. In my callow youth, when writing the lyrics to a song of mine called “Climbing Back,” I found myself wrestling with what I deemed a kind of soul sickness that I…

by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Reviewer: Anthomy Pomes

Recently, amid the continued abject horror that is the Coronavirus, I agreed to play a game of Monopoly with my equally-stuck-at-home family. The eventual, and total, decimation of my board game liquidity — along with the collapse of my fledging hotel properties, including Park Place — was enough to make me want to drive an open pair of scissors into my eyes ala Greek tragedy. Having successfully staved off self-destruction by the next morning, however, I found that I had been assigned to review a new book. The title intrigued me — after all, I thought, wasn’t…

Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, friends — and, of course, human beings. Women have the potential to place themselves in any or all of these roles, as per the dictates of modern Western society. They are also, however, something else in daily life — they are colleagues, or “co-workers,” to use perhaps a folksier term. What has been revealed often over the past half-decade is just how much harassment women have been subjected to in the workplace — particularly that of a sexual nature. In this time of showbiz court trials that involve comedian Bill Cosby and film producer Harvey Weinstein…

Reviewer: Anthony Pomes

There’s a moment in Alan Zweibel’s delightful new book, Laugh Lines, set at the home of famed director Rob Reiner and his wife, Michele. They are screening for friends and family some restored footage of classic comedy TV sketches from Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour. Reiner’s father, Carl, is the guest of honor alongside his fellow legendary show writers Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, and then-frail show host, Sid Caesar. During that evening’s post-screening Q&A session, as Zweibel tells it, the three comedy giants continually include and pay homage to Caesar as the man who gave…

If there is a worse time in history than during the Covid-19 pandemic to review a book that ties the lessons of extreme wildlife adventure to an excellence in one’s business skills, I truly don’t know when it would be — and I certainly hope it isn’t up ahead. With mass global unrest on the rise — both in the medical and financial markets — and unemployment rates here in the U.S. rising to perilously high levels, the notion of actually getting and keeping an office job right now feels like a wildlife-set adventure all its own. With that in…

Anthony Pomes

Anthony Pomes has worked steadily as a freelance writer/editor and frequent ghost writer for more than two decades.

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