Tender tales of animal care from a veteran veterinarian.
There is a special bond between a pet and its owners, which Coston (Ask the Animals: A Vet's Eye View of Pets and the People They Love, 2009) gracefully brings to light in his second memoir about his Virginia practice. "The core of a veterinary hospital," he writes, is the "emotional and compassionate intertwining of hearts and hands, of science and souls, of lighthearted laughter and wrenching sadness." The author's concern toward the sick animals under his care and his empathy for the owners merge with humor as he recalls his daily routines. Independent, eccentric, fun-loving, serious—all words that aptly describe owners and animals alike as Coston diagnoses and treats a myriad of maladies in the dogs, cats and birds that come to him for help. Vivid descriptions place readers in the operating room as Coston treats cancerous tumors, removes partly digested tennis balls, coins and rocks from intestinal tracts, or puts a seriously ill animal to sleep. Woven throughout these stories of animal care are the author's reflections on his relationships with his staff. There's Rachel, "an unassuming, quiet woman…one of those people you think you know well but whose waters run deep and unseen, with surprising twists and eddies,” and Lisa, a young woman who, through diligence and hard work, moved from kennel assistant to veterinarian technician, only to have her personal story end in tragedy.
Benevolent, instructive stories of the bonds between animals and humans.
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)