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

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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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