How to improve back health through exercise, yoga-based stretches, and stress reduction—a reasonable plan. Brownstein (a clinical instructor of medicine at the University of Hawaii, Manoa) suffered multiple injuries and severe back pain for 20 years; when traditional medicines and surgery failed to help, he found relief by creating a regimen drawing on yoga, meditation, and other alternative therapies. His program is sound, and his starting point valuable—rather than looking for an initiating catastrophic injury as the basis for designing treatment, chronic back pain sufferers would do better to understand their acute event as the culmination of years of stress, poor body mechanics, and possible weight and nutrition problems. His second important point is that almost all back pain originates in the muscles (rather than bone or other structures). This program is aimed, therefore at muscular fitness, principally with the extensive, progressive stretches based on yoga poses. Brownstein is careful to give appropriate cautions along the way: when to seek medical help, possible signs of serious disease. Nutritional advice, stress- reduction exercises, advice on lifestyle changes, and “Emotional and Spiritual Lessons for Healing” round out the program. Reliable advice for a common problem, with a spiritual/yoga flavor that will have special appeal for some sufferers. ($70,000 ad/promo; author tour)
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)