Heavy on bad-boy behavior and sports, the book should come with a six-pack of cheap beer. A quick read that is not for...

GOOD TALK, DAD

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES...AND OTHER CONVERSATIONS WE FORGOT TO HAVE

Two veteran raconteurs face off to cover over four decades of family myths and legends.

Co-host of NBC’s Today 9 a.m. hour and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Willie Geist (American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures, 2010, etc.) joins his father, columnist and TV journalist Bill Geist (Way Off the Road: Discovering the Peculiar Charms of Small Town America, 2007, etc.) in canonizing both great and not-so-great moments in parenting and coming-of-age. The authors banter back and forth in their discussions of everything from a nonexistent father-son sex talk to Willie’s summer camp to coaching Little League. Then there are the tales of underage drinking, how to cook up a fake ID, the family’s Elvis cult and an uncle’s/brother’s pharmacopeia perfectly timed for special events. As in most families, there is one car handed down through the generations, in this case, a Jeep CJ-7. The authors interleave the chapters with sidebars entitled “Geist Date in History” that highlight small events that bear marking—e.g., the day Willie met Donald Trump. Willie also includes a previously published story about taking his daughter to a Columbia University football game. The Geist family, the authors note, often perform rites of passage late, so this book is a chance “to cover our father-son bases retroactively.” It’s clear most of these stories have been told countless times; they’re practiced and well-paced. However, new material about Bill’s Vietnam tour and his battle with Parkinson’s disease contain further revelations and have not been polished over the family dinner table. A strong father-son relationship shines through.

Heavy on bad-boy behavior and sports, the book should come with a six-pack of cheap beer. A quick read that is not for everyone.

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4555-4722-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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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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