These essays, whose opening paragraphs give little clue to where the author is going, are dense, surprising pieces that...



From an essayist and poet whose forays into the natural world are also journeys into literature, linguistics, history, science and philosophy comes a collection of lyrical pieces.

Dodd (English/Kansas State Univ.; In the Mind's Eye: Essays across the Animate World, 2008, etc.) moves through landscapes equipped with a keen sense of time and place and a perceptive eye. In Chaco Canyon, N.M., which she visited at the winter solstice, she paid attention not just to the sky and to light and shadow, but also to the ruins and the petroglyphs, subjects that led naturally to the minds of the people who once lived there. She noticed the birds, the most minute plant life, the snakes and the mammals. During her visit to Chimney Rock Pueblo to witness a lunar standstill, her thoughts turned to the biochemistry of time, the ways in which human bodies keep track of the seasons. Although Dodd traveled widely in the American West, hiking and camping in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and collecting pollen samples and counting bison at a Midwestern prairie research station, she also includes chronicles of her trips to the Orkneys and the Hebrides along the coast of Scotland. The megaliths she sees there inspire musings about the region’s medieval inhabitants, and a visit to the Yucatan Peninsula leads to an essay on the language and the numbering system of the Mayans. Throughout, Dodd entwines the details of her camping life—cold nights, hard beds, basic food—with her ruminations on culture, anthropology, geography, time and many other subjects.

These essays, whose opening paragraphs give little clue to where the author is going, are dense, surprising pieces that demand to be read and then reread with care.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8032-4078-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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



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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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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