A simple, comforting reflection on one woman's crusade to make a difference in the world.

SNAKE OIL

THE ART OF HEALING AND TRUTH-TELLING

A memoir of hands-on healing.

Concerned that abused women and victims of prostitution, sex trafficking and drug addictions often have no place to turn for help, Rev. Stevens founded Magdalene and Thistle Farms, a program named by the White House as one of 2011's "15 champions of change." The author provides women with two years of "housing, food, medical and dental expenses, therapy, education and job training—all at no cost to them.” The residents have ready-made employment creating healing oils and natural body-care products that are sold across the United States. No stranger to sexual abuse herself, Stevens feels deeply that a hands-on approach is necessary to help these battered women on a lifelong journey toward recuperation. "The Magdalene homes needed to be creative, practical, and joyful," she writes. "They needed to be sanctuaries where women were absolutely safe, not just physically, but safe enough to follow their own instincts toward healing." Stories of Stevens’ past and her determination to become a minister blend with stories of some of the women who have lived and thrived in the Magdalene program. The author spends considerable time analyzing the origins of the term "snake oil" and how, over time, it morphed from meaning something having healing properties to the more current connotation of something shifty or shady. But her program is anything but underhanded. Christian readers will connect with Stevens’ philosophies, and those interested in creating healing oils will find the included recipes helpful.

A simple, comforting reflection on one woman's crusade to make a difference in the world.

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4555-1906-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Jericho Books/Hachette

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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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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