A comprehensive, empowering set of strategies for improving public speaking.



A guide to public speaking in the legal world.

Read starts by acknowledging that just about everyone ranks public speaking as their top fear—above death! He hopes his book will help his readers face and overcome their fear of public speaking, and to that end, he emphasizes the “Rule of Three,” which is “the idea that you will have the most success if you try to persuade your judge or jury with three points.” He stresses throughout that public speakers must avoid mimicry in favor of finding their own voice, and the way to do this is to stick to sincerity—not a word most readers will readily associate with lawyers. His manual comprises three segments: how to persuade, how to organize a presentation, and, finally, a historical section on how great masters of persuasion conducted their cases. At the core of his own presentation is a section on “the seven principles of public speaking,” which includes tips like keeping a journal, speaking from the heart, and addressing the audience. In fact, he believes considering the audience is paramount: “The truth is that your next appearance in court is about the needs of the judge or jury that you are trying to persuade,” Read writes. “Figuring out those desires first, not your client’s or your own, is the key to success.” In all of this, Read exhibits two main strengths: He’s a very engaging writer, and his book is full of well-chosen quotes from a wide variety of writers and public speakers (“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”—Oscar Wilde). He buttresses these quotes with his own clearly phrased insights (“Never have a argument but instead have a conversation with the judge and deliver a visual presentation to the jury”). Public speakers of all kinds—and especially courtroom lawyers—will find this book invaluable.

A comprehensive, empowering set of strategies for improving public speaking.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2021

ISBN: 979-8-9851152-1-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Westway Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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



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. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.


Bestselling author Haig offers a book’s worth of apothegms to serve as guides to issues ranging from disquietude to self-acceptance.

Like many collections of this sort—terse snippets of advice, from the everyday to the cosmic—some parts will hit home with surprising insight, some will feel like old hat, and others will come across as disposable or incomprehensible. Years ago, Haig experienced an extended period of suicidal depression, so he comes at many of these topics—pain, hope, self-worth, contentment—from a hard-won perspective. This makes some of the material worthy of a second look, even when it feels runic or contrary to experience. The author’s words are instigations, hopeful first steps toward illumination. Most chapters are only a few sentences long, the longest running for three pages. Much is left unsaid and left up to readers to dissect. On being lost, Haig recounts an episode with his father when they got turned around in a forest in France. His father said to him, “If we keep going in a straight line we’ll get out of here.” He was correct, a bit of wisdom Haig turned to during his depression when he focused on moving forward: “It is important to remember the bottom of the valley never has the clearest view. And that sometimes all you need to do in order to rise up again is to keep moving forward.” Many aphorisms sound right, if hardly groundbreaking—e.g., a quick route to happiness is making someone else happy; “No is a good word. It keeps you sane. In an age of overload, no is really yes. It is yes to having space you need to live”; “External events are neutral. They only gain positive or negative value the moment they enter our mind.” Haig’s fans may enjoy this one, but others should take a pass.

A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-14-313666-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Penguin Life

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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