Third-season winner of The Next Food Network Star heads to France to rebuild her life and marriage.
After emerging as the victor, Finley found herself quickly disenchanted by her resulting 15 minutes of fame. The author walked away from it all, regarded by many as a highly controversial move, because her marriage was falling apart and nothing felt “real” anymore. She retreated back to San Diego and her estranged husband and their two small children. But it wasn't long before the author suggested a move to her husband's native France in an attempt to repair her marriage and preserve her family—and her sanity. What emerged from this sojourn is a charming, bare-bones chronicle of a woman reclaiming her family and a couple reclaiming their relationship, all through the healing qualities of time, honesty and food. Wonderful, robust French cuisine (including Finley's own homemade cheese and wine), weathered neighbors and the shops, restaurants and bakeries that dot the French countryside—all contributed not only to the family’s transformation, but the richness of the narrative as well. There is no trace of culinary elitism here, just an unadulterated joy of food, a thrill at a change of scenery and the admirable resilience of a temporarily broken and displaced family. Credit Finley's wisdom to recognize the havoc wrought upon her life by the Food Network publicity machine, endangering the tenets she fiercely held dear. The author's account of her determination to rework her life into one worth living is bracing and uplifting.
A five-star read.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
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)