A readable, inspiring memoir that displays a balanced, surprisingly reverent view of the Marine Corps and military service.

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THE PINK MARINE

TV comedy writer White recalls the grueling yet confidence-building three-month Marine Corps boot camp training he endured as a still-closeted teenager in 1979.

Having moved numerous times throughout his childhood, at the age of 18, the author lived with his mother and brothers in Dallas. On a whim and with no future goals, White agreed to accompany his friend, a recent Air Force Academy cadet, and enlist in the Marine Corps. Physically unfit, admittedly effeminate, and considerably underweight, he was suddenly forced to share tight living quarters with dozens of straight young men and endure arduous physical endurance challenges, not to mention brutally demanding drill instructors. White lived in fear that he would be outed as gay, which could have led to a dishonorable discharge or, worse, a beating. Yet years before the passage of “don't ask, don't tell,” the boot camp proved to be a tremendously equalizing experience. As White eventually began to excel in areas he never anticipated, he also realized that each recruit, no matter the level of athletic prowess or supposed masculinity, was dealing with anxieties and shortcomings in a united quest to complete the course. Ultimately, the author’s fear gradually took a back seat to his more urgent desire to not only achieve a meaningful goal, but also gain acceptance. “I gained confidence from membership in a group I never thought I could belong to, a group I never thought would accept me,” he writes. “I adopted the same attitude they did; I did everything anyone did. I was a man with a job, a man who happened to be gay. Being a Marine is hard work and takes a lot of focus, practice, and dedication. I learned that I had to respect myself if I wanted others to respect me.” The author demonstrates that respect and delivers a heartening coming-of-age story.

A readable, inspiring memoir that displays a balanced, surprisingly reverent view of the Marine Corps and military service.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9967103-2-9

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Querelle Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2015

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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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