An intimate remembrance that includes a wealth of ideas about self-acceptance.

THE LAST LETTER

A debut memoir of one man’s journey toward love and healing in the face of loss.

When professional business mentor and adviser Chaleff was 18, his mother died in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver, and afterward, he lost his ability to find meaning in life. As the child of an unpredictable, volatile father, Chaleff always found comfort in the protective, unconditional emotional warmth of his mother. Her death moved him into a mindset of self-destruction—and ultimately, self-examination. In this book, he offers a winding account of falling into addictive and compulsive behaviors, depression, and other difficulties as he tried to resolve his feelings about the traumatic event. He eventually moved to Japan, where he studied religion, and he met a very wise teacher named Cees de Bruin. He later became a teacher and healer himself, and he went on to experience moments of redemption with his father and others, which he shares here. It’s rare that a book succeeds at relating such an intimate, personal story while also clearly discussing psychological topics, such as projection, self-destruction, addiction, self-acceptance, and vulnerability. The book’s later chapters, in particular, offer unique advice, ideas, and insights about searching for self-awareness. For example, he discusses the titular last letter that he wrote to his mother, which she read shortly before her death: “That experience drove home to me the fragility of life and the urgency to take meaningful action in the face of mortality.” What makes this title stand out from similar memoirs is its raw, unsentimental treatment of the author’s story. Chaleff recounts his grief and healing experience in a cleareyed, conversational manner that will likely encourage readers toward introspection.

An intimate remembrance that includes a wealth of ideas about self-acceptance.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63393-707-9

Page Count: 245

Publisher: Koehler Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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