A succinct and sometimes-engaging, if occasionally cloudy, account of a long life.

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THE APRICOT OUTLOOK OF KATHERINE KOON HUNG WONG

A debut portrait of a Chinese American woman from Hawaii, compiled from interviews by her son.

Wong presents the story of his mother, Katherine “Katy” C. Wong (1928-2014), in her own words, drawing from conversations that he, her eldest child, conducted in the latter part of her life between 2005 and 2009. She was born in Honolulu, where she worked at her family’s laundry business before graduating high school in 1946. Two years later, she married. She was soon with child, although later, after having multiple children, her doctor advised her husband to refrain from getting her pregnant “all the time,” she said. In 1960, the young family settled in Hayward, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. There, Katy worked various jobs, including at a Jack LaLanne Hi-Protein bar factory. Later in life, she professed a fondness for gambling (“I play blackjack. I’m good at it”) and she enjoyed giving protein bars away to people when traveling. Along with Katy’s own words, the book also features an array of color and black-and-white images from her life, depicting such things as the first home that she and her husband purchased and travel documents from a trip to China. At fewer than 70 pages in length, including pictures, the memoir moves along very quickly. However, some of her memories lack explanation and detail, perhaps due, in part, to the effects of a stroke, as the editor points out in a preface. She says at one point, for example, that her deceased husband and daughter “can play Japanese cards,” although what this refers to is unclear; she also doesn’t talk in detail about what it was like to work in a Jack LaLanne factory, or what her first impressions of California were. Still, Katy’s statements can carry plenty of emotional weight at times: “I feel sorry that the doctor told him you don’t get Katy upset because she is already downhill.”

A succinct and sometimes-engaging, if occasionally cloudy, account of a long life.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949723-53-3

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Bookwhip Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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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