A wistful love story and penetrating glimpse into the duties of a caregiver.

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THE BEST SEVEN YEARS OF MY LIFE

THE STORY OF AN UNLIKELY CAREGIVER

A courageous, sad debut memoir on being a caregiver to a terminally ill family member.

After 41 years of marriage, George and Carol Shannon’s time together became increasingly marked by silence. Their three sons had left home, and the couple had taken to living ostensibly separate lives, with George spending time at the driving range working on his golf swing and Carol consumed by her books. This “extended stale phase,” as George calls it, ended abruptly during a trip to Cabo with family. Carol had been subject to “mini-strokes” in the past, but on this occasion, the stroke severely affected the movement of much of her body and speech. Faced with an uncertain future, George, a cancer survivor, provided the majority of Carol’s care following her discharge from the hospital. The memoir is written from the first-person perspective of George and is co-authored by George’s middle son, Chad Shannon, who would often stand in for his father as caregiver. The authors reveal the continual tension and sometimes-frantic rush associated with caring for a sick loved one: “I knew [Chad] could be at the hospital within minutes….I flew for the giant entrance to the unit…this unit was the hospital’s crisis center. The people they brought here faced death.” The mix of terror and hope is palpable on such occasions. They also find humor and positivity in difficulty, describing how the stroke revealed elements of the “true Carol,” transforming her from a “once-unassuming woman” to “a minor celebrity” at her rehab facility who dropped a “dozen F-bombs as she performed a therapy drill.” George shares his emotions candidly throughout. At the time of Carol’s stroke, he says: “I told myself that if Carol survived this, then I would devote my life to making hers better.” Given that the memoir is co-written, Chad’s perspective, which would have added extra narrative dimension, feels strangely lacking. Still, illustrated with family photographs throughout, this remains a tenderly written memoir that pays testament to the selflessness that springs from unconditional love.

A wistful love story and penetrating glimpse into the duties of a caregiver.

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7326455-4-7

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

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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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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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