A perfect gift for a friend with a mountain cabin and a coffee table.

British Columbia

GRACED BY NATURE'S PALETTE

A naturalist, teacher, and guide shares his appreciation for his home province in this debut collection of gorgeous photographs and watercolors. 

This book offers everything you ever wanted to know about the flora and fauna of British Columbia but didn’t know enough to ask. Townsley was born in Vancouver, and when he was 7 years old, his father gave him a camera. His lovely book is a collection gathered from a lifetime of taking nature photographs, punctuated by the occasional watercolor (he’s a painter as well). Roaming through a half dozen geographical regions, he takes readers from British Columbia’s jaw-dropping rocky shores to its breathtaking mountains, with stops in between to gaze at whatever catches his eye. A lot does: an unexpected rainbow, a pussy willow in close-up, and the frostbit Lillooet River, which is like something out of a perfectly realized winter wonderland. Many of his images are so stunning one can only recommend viewing them, in its e-book format, on the largest screen available. In his introduction, Townsley says, “another comment I get on occasion is, ‘You must have a really good camera.’ I laugh and relate an analogy I heard years ago whereby someone really admired the work of a writer and stated, ‘You must have a really good typewriter.’ ” He is a fine photographer, but as a writer, his chapter introductions are little more than serviceable and sometimes borderline drab; his description of Victoria, for example, sounds like something straight from a tourist guide: “Known as the City of Gardens, Victoria is an attractive city and a popular tourist destination with a thriving technology sector.” And yet, once one realizes where Townsley’s true genius lies, one may come to enjoy the random factoids scattered among the photo captions. For example, he tips readers as to what’s edible and what’s not—Sagebrush buttercup, no; Crowberry, yes. The singularity of whatever he decides to point out becomes captivating in itself; for example, he notes that a raven is considered about as smart as most 7-year-old humans, and that harbor seals detect their prey by using nerves in their whiskers. Nature lovers will find much here to enjoy, as will Canada-philes.

A perfect gift for a friend with a mountain cabin and a coffee table.

Pub Date: March 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-7771-3

Page Count: 232

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: June 3, 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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