Despite this book’s sincere charm, even devotedly religious readers may find it too preoccupied with supernatural events.

READ REVIEW

Touch Not My Anointed

AND DO MY PROPHET NO HARM

A spiritual remembrance that focuses on a woman’s claims of prophecy.

When debut author Hutchinson was a child, she says, she started to experience dreams and visions sent by God that accurately predicted the future, which frightened her mother. Once, she dreamed of a destructive tornado, and weeks later, one devastated her home. Later, God healed her asthma, she says, but it was only years afterward that she felt prepared to fully surrender her life to him. She suffered through some difficult years, including two failed marriages and multiple abortions, but she says that she continued to experience epiphanic communications from God, who spoke to her in dreams. Other times, she says, God simply spoke out loud to her. She writes that one day, she found key passages in the Bible that were highlighted, apparently by God, to provide her with instruction. Another time, she found a message written in her handwriting but was unable to recall ever scribbling it. God warned her of other people, she says, by providing her with specific images; one former friend who betrayed her, for example, appeared to Hutchinson in a dream to have the face of a monkey. Eventually, she says, God told her to write this book and even gave her the title; she then felt that she had been called upon to assume the role of prophet and evangelize God’s word. The crux of Hutchinson’s message seems to be that an intimate relationship with God is available to anyone who opens his or her heart sufficiently and that his love isn’t reserved for some elite, chosen few. It’s hard not to be affected by the earnestness of the author’s mission or the egalitarianism of her message. However, only readers who are already very sympathetic to the notion of direct communication with God will find her story compelling. Others will likely be more incredulous. At one point, for example, the book warns that catastrophe will strike the United States as penance for its growing decadence: “The huge ship (Titanic) is America heading down the wrong path and if it does not change direction, America is going to run into that iceberg and America will sink.” Hutchinson’s eschatological alarmism, and her diagnosis of America’s moral decline, will turn off many readers.

Despite this book’s sincere charm, even devotedly religious readers may find it too preoccupied with supernatural events.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4787-5934-8

Page Count: 302

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2016

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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