A brief divorce memoir built on a foundation of sensible advice.
In this touching debut, Blasiman chronicles her journey of self-discovery during a painful separation from her partner. Along the way, she sought solace in the wise words of a revered figure in her life who never let her down: her Grandpa. He once counseled her through her parents’ separation when she was a teenager, and his ability to put common refrains in context illustrated the complexity of simple truths; his interpretation of “water under the bridge,” for example, speaks to the importance of moving on in life. The author, spurred by her conversations with Grandpa, began to change her perspective and her life. She includes her coming-out story as a definitive example of her grandfather’s unconditional love: he accepted her without reservation, even when her own mother hesitated. Later, with her family’s support, she embarked on creating a family with her then-partner, Shay. They had two children, and though readers know it won’t last, Blasiman portrays their marriage as a happy one. She apparently went through a great deal of soul-searching after the emotionally raw experience of the separation; much of the book focuses on her healing process afterward. Along the way, she reveals her grandfather’s journey in vignettes, juxtaposing scenes from his younger years with an extended epilogue. Grandpa’s insights reveal his wise stances on kindness, forgiveness, and happiness. Some of the book’s most touching moments show the unwavering love he had for his wife (Blasiman’s grandmother), Donna Jean. These ordinary revelations show the direct influence that his words had on the author, helping to transform her into a stronger, more loving person. Blasiman effectively shows how she finally began to understand the strength of such common sense—to keep going, even when the going gets tough, and to keep loving, even when loving can hurt.
An engaging memoir full of cogent adages distilled from a lifetime of compassionate observation.
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").
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)