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MEDIA MIX

A Soothing Guide to Taking Life as It Comes

July 13, 1998|ROCHELLE O'GORMAN FLYNN

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff With Your Family"

By Richard Carlson

Simon & Schuster Audio

Abridged nonfiction

One cassette

Length: 90 minutes

$12

Read by the author

Available in bookstores

This is one of the best audio books on the market aimed at reducing the stress of everyday life. Richard Carlson's approach is quite basic: Put your problems in perspective and make the effort to simplify your life. His tips for doing so are concrete and clearly explained. Carlson uses examples from his life and tells you where he obtained some of his ideas, many of which have been culled from Buddhist philosophy. Carlson also narrates his other audio, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It's All Small Stuff." His manner is friendly and inviting in both productions. He comes across as an average, open, upbeat guy. You cannot help thinking that if he sounds this relaxed, perhaps he really can help us smooth out the wrinkles in our daily lives.

*

"Be an Outrageous Older Woman"

By Ruth Harriet Jacobs

Harper Audio

Abridged nonfiction

One cassette

Length: 90 minutes

$12

Read by the author

Available in bookstores

Sassy, outspoken, vigorous and caring, Ruth Harriet Jacobs is exactly the kind of gal you'd want as a friend.

Jacobs refers to herself as an R.A.S.P., or a "Remarkable Aging Smart Person." In a distinctive Boston accent, she teaches us how to handle patronizing health-care workers and offers easy tips for getting the most out of a doctor's visit. She is also a bit outrageous when pointing out ways to have fun as we age, such as crashing conventions and private beaches with the best swimming sites.

Though there is more information in the printed version of the book, you would miss out on Jacobs' enthusiastic delivery. She may not have a smooth and well-modulated voice, but she has a lively sense of humor, and her zest for life is positively addictive.

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