A commercial airline pilot addresses layperson questions/concerns about flying in this debut informational guide.
Diaz, a Florida-based airline captain with nearly 30 years’ experience, is often hit up for his professional opinions while out at dinner parties. “This book was inspired by the fact that a lot of people, especially in social gatherings, when they know I am an airline pilot, ask me different kinds of questions,” he says. In this slim book, Diaz seeks to cover an array of such FAQs, including an overview of the aerodynamics of how an airplane can take off, stay aloft, and land and descriptions of the many training, safety, and warning processes and procedures performed by airline crews. He touches on details large and small, including, for example, how cabin air flow must cut off while engines are being started—“There is nothing you can do to get air, even though the outlet is fully open. Just be patient until the engines are started”—and how turbulence is simply “the equivalent to choppy or rough waters.” He dedicates a chapter to flying in winter, underscoring the necessity and importance of de-icing wings and heating windshields, and concludes with a reference guide to industry abbreviations and definitions. As in those in-flight pilot announcements, Diaz offers a voice of soothing authority that should particularly please white-knucklers overly stressed about flying. His accessible narrative poses Q-and-A’s in eye-catching subheadings, with answers conveyed in a pleasant, nonpatronizing tone. Diaz doesn’t delve into larger and looming issues facing the airline industry: the ongoing threat of terrorism, rogue pilots, and the industry’s overall challenges regarding its technical infrastructure and financial health. Still, this helpful guide breaks down and demystifies many of the practical aspects of the miracle of flight.
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)
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").