A series of meditations examines the Christian life.
Neary opens this slim nonfiction debut with a vivid account of the night at Bible study camp in her 16th year when she decided to challenge Jesus directly, praying that if he would reveal himself to her, she would serve him. At once, the room filled with light and breeze, and she felt herself in the presence of her Lord. This kind of encounter is in accord with what Neary’s collaborator Day writes in his preface about the Christian God. “He wants to be found,” Day claims. “He wants to be known. He has been waiting for you to arrive at this moment in history to make Himself known to you.” Since someone who wants to be known would actually make himself known—not through private, ambiguously felt presences but by direct, observable, and unambiguous encounters—this and other sentiments expressed throughout the book indicate its target readership is the authors’ fellow devout Christians. And for those Christians, Neary and Day have enlisted the aid of artist Lee to make their book a lovely, illuminated work. There are briskly narrated meditations on seemingly trivial items (the desert, for instance, or the alabaster jar containing the scented oils Mary Magdalene used to anoint Jesus, which becomes the focal point for an intriguing elaboration). And each of the volume’s sections is suffused with the kind of peaceful optimism (“We are meant to have joy all the time and have it be our strength,” for example) that the authors clearly intend to impart. There are occasional minor inconsistencies. On the same page, for instance, readers are told conflicting tidbits about angels: that they understand nothing about humans except what they learn from God and that they know mortals’ stories because they have studied them. But the majority of this handsome pamphlet acts as pure reassurance for the faithful.
A series of quick, impressionistic affirmations for Christians in a beautifully crafted booklet.
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)