A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN...OR TOO TIRED FOR AN AFFAIR

Bombeck (When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home, 1991, etc.) is in top form here, detonating snappy one- liners throughout this account of her 40-plus years of marriage. And there are some unusually serious moments as well: the death, at age 33, of a close friend—the first intimation for Bombeck and her husband that life is finite and for real; a late-life and much- wanted pregnancy that ended in miscarriage; the pathos of reversing roles as the author cared for her aging, ailing mother; Bombeck's breast cancer and mastectomy. The author married Bill Bombeck in the 50's. They had three children, and family life was both satisfying and something of a letdown: ``I hid my dreams in the back of my mind. It was the only safe place in the house.'' The dreams were of writing, and a lecture in the 60's by Betty Friedan galvanized Bombeck to ask her local newspaper if she could write a column. Syndication followed, then bestselling books, and, suddenly, the equilibrium of the Bombeck marriage shifted, as Bill, a teacher, held down the home front and Erma jetted off to talk shows, book tours, and speeches. How did the couple survive such a shift? Bill, in his 50s, found something (marathon running) to excel at independent of his wife, while Erma found that ``when the applause died down....I had someone real to go home to.'' The trials of raising teenagers; of grown kids coming home to freeload in order to afford a fancy car; of offspring delaying marriage and childbearing into their 30's, much to the exasperation of prospective-Grandma Bombeck (``If it doesn't happen soon, my grandchild and I will be in diapers together'')—all are described with the author's trademark wit. A few jokes misfire, a few phrases are repetitious. Overall, though, this is as light as a feather—and could float to the top of the lists. (First printing of 500,000)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-018322-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more