A series of often entertaining spirit-conversations that yields an attractive personal philosophy of mindfulness and...


A memoir of spiritual exploration in the form of dialogues.

“If I could architecturally design my life with an absolute end,” asks Megargee (Dirt, Truth, Music, and Bungee Cords, 2015) in this punchy, fast-paced work of nonfiction, “what should my objective be?” It’s these kinds of deep questions—who am I, where did I come from?—that drive this self-described “unconventional memoir.” The author’s six-year journey to deeper self-awareness takes him from Buddhist monks in Virginia to “an ageless oracle in Pennsylvania” to extended conversations with an otherworldly, disembodied “soul guide” whom he calls “Laz.” In a series of dialogues, Megargee quizzes Laz on all kinds of subjects. Throughout the book, the author depicts Laz as offering animated answers to his questions. Asked about the drastic effects of climate change, for instance, Laz says that the air is upset at being polluted and that “fire gets angry because it is not treated properly.” Most of these responses seem grounded in a crude kind of animism, in which the world is composed of the traditional “four elements,” which are sentient and entirely human in their emotional responses. As a result, massive storms are explained by the elements being angry or stressed, and a burst water main is said to occur because water is upset by the negative energies of nearby humans. Megargee somewhat counteracts these decidedly unscientific sections, though, with stronger, deeper discourses about forgiveness and “soul sins” that arise “when you taint something that is pure, good, and positive and place it in the dark.” In this respect, the book effectively dovetails with its predecessor, stressing an extremely personal element of self-help.

A series of often entertaining spirit-conversations that yields an attractive personal philosophy of mindfulness and compassion.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5403-2389-7

Page Count: 200

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 19, 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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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