An enlightening, entertaining, and surprisingly moving hybrid of anecdotal military memoir and cookbook.



A decorated, retired Army veteran shares stories and recipes.

Before giving readers the bulk of the recipes in his debut memoir/cookbook, Camp recounts his expansive 32-year military career, relating how his life became shaped and enriched by his experiences while serving his country. “The stories in this book are about camaraderie, shared misery and the love shared by brothers-in-arms,” he explains. It is these anecdotes of his life, each thoughtfully rendered, that connect and ground the recipes to the author’s history on the front lines. Camp’s adventures in basic training inspire appetizers like flavorful Roasted Corn Salad and a temptingly easy potato salad with dill and stone-ground mustard. A hilarious misadventure with dog food (“I probably would have eaten the whole can,” he admits) somehow dictates a tempting recipe for Italian Polpette and pillowy, gnocchilike dumplings called Gnudi. An affinity for wine encourages the more daring Asparagus Risotto with Filet Mignon, while an international flair fuels the ingredients for Spanish Paella Valenciana. Camp’s time in Poland is reflected in a slow-cooked recipe for Bigos Stew. Busy home chefs with a family and a sweet tooth should particularly appreciate the ease of Camp’s Banoffee Pie, Scottish Shortbread, Gingersnap, and classic Chocolate Chip cookie recipes. A closing section featuring mixed drinks coupled with even livelier stories peaks with a standout concoction for Camp’s grandfather’s Top-Secret Manhattan, a pitcher of which the elder drank almost every evening. The design of this creatively inspired book seems geared for easy reading, with beige background sections offering life stories alongside vivid food photographs contributed by Kucharek, the author’s wife. Some tales have a tendency to meander—for which Camp provides an early disclaimer—but generally, the colorful reminiscences provide a fitting preamble to the useful book’s many hearty, easy-to-follow recipes as well as a vicarious glimpse into a tour of duty. As an added incentive, Camp is donating $1 from each book sale to the charity Paws for Purple Hearts, a program offering canine-assisted therapy to veterans and active-duty military personnel who suffer physical and mental traumatic disorders: “I hope readers will see how soldiers celebrate life, and in turn, through the proceeds from this book, support our veterans who truly need the assistance.”

An enlightening, entertaining, and surprisingly moving hybrid of anecdotal military memoir and cookbook.  

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9985137-2-0

Page Count: 76

Publisher: PartridgeSingapore

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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