Diarylike reminiscences of a lost love that range from mundane to moving.

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For Michael, Love Cynda

In her emotional debut memoir, Yeasting tells the painful story of losing her fiance to cancer.

Why would a lively, attractive woman begin dating a terminally ill man she didn’t know? According to Yeasting, Michael Chu was easy to love. After meeting on a dating website, the two fun-loving Canadians instantly clicked. Michael was open about his terminal lung cancer, and Yeasting decided to accept a future broken heart and get to know him. The couple quickly became “soul mates” and spent more than a year together, living life to the fullest. They had a lot in common, including a love for travel, and visited beautiful places together, like Hawaii and the Dominican Republic. Yeasting’s love remained steadfast as Michael’s health faded, and when an additional tumor was discovered in his brain, she was there for him throughout the successful surgery. A two-time divorcée, Yeasting had been hesitant to remarry in the past, but when Michael proposed, she eagerly said yes. Unfortunately, he died in hospice care before they could marry. Much of their relationship is told via sugary love emails reprinted here (the book unfortunately repeats email addresses, etc., for all digital communication). In fact, along with email headers, the memoir could cut many unnecessary details, including dinner plans. However, Yeasting’s voice is honest and likable. She unblinkingly reveals the good (she was there for Michael when he could no longer walk) and the bad (she stormed out after an argument) aspects of her strong personality. Writes Yeasting, “I am old-fashioned but with a twist and a dash of spice.” Though the subject is somber, the black-and-white photos serve to lighten the tone. The book spans several years after Michael died, and the author plumbs her grieving process. Written as a form of self-therapy, Yeasting’s bittersweet account may comfort others who are grieving.

Diarylike reminiscences of a lost love that range from mundane to moving.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-6747-9

Page Count: 306

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2016

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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