A comprehensive and surprisingly philosophical guide to the sport of bowling.
“We play games to fill the time, to take the pressure off, and to find ways to enjoy and smell the roses all at once,” writes Dilyard (Ian and the Great Silver Dragon: A Friendship Begins, 2019, etc.) in this nonfiction work. “Can we learn how to play these games with more fulfillment, and elevate our consciousness at the same time?” It may seem like an overreaching question, but such queries have resulted in successful books in the past, such as Eugen Herrigel’s classic Zen in the Art of Archery (1948) or even Ben Hogan’sFive Lessons (1957) by Ben Hogan with Herbert Warren Wind, which both reached wide audiences by blending sports instruction with advice for living. Dilyard, a self-described bowling obsessive, never loses sight of the practical elements of his discussion; indeed, his book is filled with engaging insights into the physical components of the sport: “Tossing a bowling ball puts the body in an unbalanced state and therefore it will attempt to find balance,” he explains in terms that will bring some comfort to students of bowling who thought that they were merely uncoordinated. “Training the body to not do a reflex movement takes time.” Indeed, time is a pervasive theme throughout the book; Dilyard is very good at explaining the physical subtleties of the game, but he stresses that time and practice are essential: “It may not take a lifetime to solidify being good,” he writes, “but it will take much more than five minutes.” However, alongside this expert advice about how to perfect one’s bowling game, there are deeper observations about the “search for perfection,” which Dilyard sees the sport as embodying. The game, he insists, is ultimately about honing one’s inner self by making key decisions: “It is and always will be about making choices, and thereby creating different outcomes.” He manages to combine the philosophical and the practical with seamless skill, and even readers who have no immediate plans to visit a bowling alley will find his book to be enlightening.
An offbeat bowling manual that makes for compelling reading.
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)