STATES OF MIND

A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE MID-ATLANTIC

As much personal narrative as travelogue, Yardley's exploration of his native ground has many of the pleasures of Our Kind of People, his 1989 re-creation of his family history: a leisurely and formal prose style, an eye for telling detail, and a strong sense of how the past lurks beneath the surface of the present. A magazine assignment started Yardley thinking about the region in which he has spent most of his life—a territory that runs along the Atlantic coast from Cape Hatteras to New Jersey, and inland to Pittsburgh and the West Virginia hills, and that includes several leading cities as well as rural areas that have changed little since his youth. Here, he records his journeys in search of the region's elusive essence. More subjective than Joseph Thorndike's The Coast (p. 53), which covered much of the same territory, Yardley's odyssey is in many ways one of self-discovery. Among his destinations are Yardley, Pennsylvania, named after his family; the Philadelphia church where his grandparents are buried; Chapel Hill, for his college reunion; his sister's West Virginia farm; the Washington Post newsroom; the Outer Banks resort where he vacations; and Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, for the final home game of his beloved Orioles. Yardley records his speeding tickets in North Carolina; pontificates on the merits of Piedmont and lowland barbecues; tours the Utz potato-chip factory and the Rolling Rock brewery; gripes about motel chains, tour guides, and theme parks; twits the WASP aristocracy; and notes changes in race relations since his youth. In the end, a real sense of the region- -both its roots and its evolution under the pressure of marketing and mass media—comes through. Yardley is a bit too fond of playing the curmudgeon and of repeating favorite lines—such as his having spent half his life on certain stretches of I-95 in Delaware—but there's much fine writing here, and some surprises as well.

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-394-58911-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1993

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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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