An uneven but ultimately cheering series of poetic reflections on life and art.


A collection of inspirational prose, poetry, song lyrics, and meditations.

In his slim nonfiction debut, musician Hillsman presents readers with a punchy mélange of works on a wide variety of topics. The opening, titular poem offers musings on love (“Love is so beautiful / Love is wonderful / Love is a wonderful thing”), but the focus of the collection quickly widens and wanders to other matters, including subjects as diverse as a call for a united Africa to stories of a taxicab driver and a tribute to media mogul Oprah Winfrey (“You always work hard for what to show / In hot, cold, and also snow”). There’s a heavy Jamaican theme running through the collection, including pieces about “The Real Jamaican Women” and “The Real Jamaican Men” and commemorations of reggae icons, such as Frankie Paul and Dennis Emmanuel Brown. There are also pauses for simply worded prayers (“My lord let all my dreams and aspirations manifest in me”) and opinions on the nature of women and romantic relationships. The tone throughout is upbeat; “Always have a positive attitude,” Hillsman writes at one point, and it’s this mindset that readers will likely enjoy the most about the collection. However, there are a few distracting errors: “Time Magazine is a season campaigner,” he writes at one point, instead of “seasoned campaigner,” and he refers to “Time Square, a significant location located in Manhattan,” instead of “Times Square.” The rhymes aren’t always convincing, either, as in one of the recurring “Hillsman Corner Quotes”: “Some people will tell you they care / But in reality they won’t share / Some people will never say they’re sorry / But in their heart is pure hatred they carry.”

An uneven but ultimately cheering series of poetic reflections on life and art.

Pub Date: June 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64298-409-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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