An emotional tribute to an extraordinary 17-year-old girl through the eyes of her biggest fan: her mom.

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NIECY

THE FAMOUS KID

A heart-wrenching memoir penned by a grieving mother who struggled to come to terms with her daughter’s devastating accident.

Vaughan’s (The True-Life Adventures of Genie and Janny, 2012) 17-year-old daughter Niecy had a way with animals—she’d taken troubled pigs, cats, birds, bugs and even a cougar under her wing. But in 1975, while Niecy was riding her horse, Action, something went terribly wrong. Vaughan watched, in horror, as her child was thrown from the horse, trampled and rendered unconscious. She slipped into a coma, and although Vaughan clung to the hope that her daughter would wake up and become her vibrant self again, waiting for a prognosis was unbearably painful. Like a hazy fever dream, the author alternates between harrowing stories of living in the hospital for months at a time and lush, honeyed memories of her energetic daughter as a child. “Niecy couldn’t be bothered to part her hair straight or tie a proper bow,” Vaughan writes. “She could, however, lasso a running cow, cat, peacock, dog, and often, her sister. She flunked health class but nursed countless baby birds, rabbits, hamsters, and kittens back to life.” As Niecy’s health declined, Vaughan faced the possibility of a life without her daughter and best friend. But with her daughter’s gentle spirit as a guide, the author navigated her way through grief, depression, and perhaps the most difficult task of all, completing her memoir, which took 38 grief-filled years to finish. A palpable anguish colors the book’s narration, and a few passages feel vague and brief, presumably because they were excruciating to write. But in Vaughan’s eyes, Niecy was a hero—a kindhearted, wide-eyed dreamer who changed the lives of everyone she met. Although mothers aren’t typically the most reliable narrators, Vaughan’s homespun tales of Niecy the Famous Kid—the nickname that a giggling Niecy dreamed up for herself while collecting shells with her mom on the beach—are stirring, tender and overflowing with love.

An emotional tribute to an extraordinary 17-year-old girl through the eyes of her biggest fan: her mom.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1490916002

Page Count: 224

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2014

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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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