A soulful exploration of the way humans love and how they cope with death.



A handbook seeks to help readers survive loss and grow as a result.

The latest nonfiction work from Green (Generation Reinvention, 2010, etc.) centers on an alarming reality for baby boomers: the prevalence of personal loss in their lives. The author alerts readers at the outset that he has lost many important people in his life—grandparents, aunts, uncles, and most tellingly his sister—and these deaths have motivated him to write a book addressing some of the essential questions surrounding the whole experience. Is there value in suffering? Can it make someone stronger? Is there more to existence than the life humans see on Earth? What are the virtues of showing mercy, even to those who seem not to warrant it? What changes occur when a person endures a major loss? What steps can readers take to prepare their own loved ones for their inevitable deaths? This last question is echoed throughout the volume by Green’s frequent invocations of Randy Pausch’s 2008 bestseller, The Last Lecture, in which that author makes exactly this kind of life summation for his children to consult after his death. Green’s work sensitively elaborates on the larger questions raised by Pausch’s book, using end-of-chapter discussion questions to help readers examine their own behavior at key moments. “Each of us is likely to confront at some point in our lives the choice to be merciful or not,” Green writes at one point, following it up with the question: “When you have punished someone in the past, how could the outcome and consequences have been improved through mercy?” These questions, as well as his many citations of modern motivational and spiritual authors, give this guide a very inviting conversational feel, a sense that Green is helping rather than merely lecturing. His reminders to readers to remember their blessings especially when times seem darkest will likely speak directly to those dealing with loss.

A soulful exploration of the way humans love and how they cope with death.

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-76515-9

Page Count: 228

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2017

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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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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