A Christian man relates stories of random encounters in coffee shops.
The latest from McIntyre (Shackled Yet Free, 2011) is an attempt to capture how serendipitous and sometimes-momentous spiritual events can begin with a simple encounters. The author firmly believes that God uses everyday people as his messengers (“ordinary people to do extraordinary things,” as he puts it), and he’s tried to satisfy what he calls humanity’s “innate desire to fellowship” in coffee shops around the country. In them, he meets people at random, learns their stories, and shares his own. McIntyre espouses a straightforward, fundamentalist Christianity that sees God’s hand in everything, and the book is full of stories that take this point of view; however, they may confuse skeptics, even as they have fellow believers nodding their heads in agreement. The author’s 2-year-old daughter was struck by a neighbor’s car in one story, for instance; fortunately, she wasn’t injured, and McIntyre writes that the driver “was able to stop the vehicle” in time “by divine intervention”; however, he doesn’t address why God would allow the accident to occur at all. “Reaching out to others is not only something worth doing, but it is God’s commandment for us,” he writes, and similarly optimistic affirmations fill the book. An opening assumption that all atheists believe that the universe came “together by accident” is inaccurate, but in general, the author’s compassionate faith that “every one of us has a calling to be a planter” carries the book over its few rough patches. Not all readers will come away convinced that the coincidences that McIntyre describes are heaven-sent, but even doubters may hope to meet him in a coffee shop themselves someday.
An often engaging collection of inspirational meetings.
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)