A common-sense, spiritual primer for prospective same-sex parents.
Equal parts memoir and how-to manual, this approachable book demystifies the complex topic of surrogacy—one that’s particularly fraught with pitfalls for would-be same-sex parents. Throughout, Warner does an admirable job of guiding the reader through the various steps involved in the same-sex surrogacy journey, covering everything from lining up a surrogate to navigating the legal quagmire of second-parent adoption. Each state has its own, often idiosyncratic, laws and regulations, so the author strongly encourages the reader to speak with a lawyer who specializes in same-sex surrogacy before beginning the process. To that end, he includes a section, penned by attorney Richard Vaughn of the International Fertility Law Group, devoted to the various challenges faced by same-sex parents seeking surrogacy as a possibility. Warner’s spirituality informs much of the book; he and his partner, deMarco, met their surrogate, Mary, at the Unity church in Houston, Texas, where they helped run a youth program. This spirituality grounds the book; Warner credits it for the moments of serendipity that coalesced into the “Divine providence” of his surrogacy experience. Overall, he does an excellent job of guiding the reader through the process. However, the book might have benefited from a deeper examination of Warner and deMarco’s motivations for pursuing surrogacy in the first place, as opposed to adoption. Although the book explores their decision to trade their Jeep Wrangler for a Volkswagen Routan in depth, it doesn’t explain why it was important that each father fertilize an embryo, other than to say that only one would have been “just as important, but…different.”
A quick, helpful and soulful read for same-sex couples looking to navigate the treacherous but rewarding surrogacy journey.
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)
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").