A charming and amusing account of one man’s fresh experiences.

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The Bucket List Chronicles

ONE MAN'S YEARLONG ATTEMPT TO TRY SOMETHING NEW

A debut memoir documents a year of new adventures.

Naval officer and physician Uniszkiewicz had always led a risk-averse life, getting by with tried-and-true methods for success and avoiding situations that might result in unpleasantness—even if they might alternatively lead to reward. “It finally occurred to me that maybe—just maybe—I needed to break out of my comfort zone,” the author writes. Encouraged by his more daring wife, the cautious doctor embarked on a year of new undertakings that would break him of his timidity. These activities ran the gamut from the fairly unexciting (running a 5K hung over on New Year’s Day) to the self-improving (learning to prepare a four-course meal) to the terrifying (hang gliding) to the truly boundary-pushing (staying at a nudist resort). That last one was actually an accident: “I was the only one embarrassed by the whole situation,” the author recalls. “Where do I look? Do I make eye contact? Do I respectfully avert my eyes?” With each new episode, Uniszkiewicz found his layers of inhibition slowly falling away, making him susceptible to the lessons that life had to offer. His main question was just how different a person would he be at the end of the year—assuming he managed to get through it in one piece? The author, a practiced storyteller, recounts his escapades in a cheerful, self-deprecating prose that manages to highlight each semivoluntary step forward. His natural abhorrence of new endeavors means that no item on his list goes off as smoothly as it would for a normal participant, leading to moments of wonderful awkwardness. While Uniszkiewicz doesn’t plunge into anything too crazy, he manages to wring more humor out of many situations (fishing, meditation) than a reader would expect. More important, his revelations, axiomatic as they might ultimately be, feel legitimately novel and earned. The difference between knowing you should do something and actually accomplishing it is vast, as the author proves again and again. As for whether he will continue taking on new challenges, he can claim at least one more: writing a book.

A charming and amusing account of one man’s fresh experiences.

Pub Date: July 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63393-277-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Koehler Books

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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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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