Authentic and genuinely inspirational.

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BROKEN BRAIN

SURVIVING A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

In this deeply felt memoir that’s more philosophical than medical, a personal injury lawyer’s resilience, natural tenacity, and support from a strong family and a few close friends spur his seemingly miraculous recovery from a traumatic brain injury that should have destroyed him.

Debut author Huerta compellingly and without self-pity recounts his long bounce back from a horrific 1998 skiing accident in Colorado in which he collided with a tree and fractured his skull in 23 places. Huerta, of Corpus Christi, Texas, then 31 years old and by his own account “living the fancy life at the end of the last millennium,” lay near death and in a coma for 12 days at a Denver hospital, his head grotesquely swollen. Doctors gave his family a grim prognosis: Even if he survived, he would be severely disabled and probably unable to walk or talk. But Huerta came out of the coma and ultimately regained his ability to walk, his voice, driver’s license, independence and much of his former existence. Never mind that the first several years following the accident were filled with black holes. He learned that life goes on even with whole volumes of memory lost. Though he credits doctors with saving his life initially, his recovery relied on a regime he more or less devised on his own, which involved regular exercise with weights at a local gym and strategic Botox injections. Did his father Albert’s promise to God to give $1 million to the church if his son were restored explain Huerta’s astounding rebound? Huerta doesn’t know, but he does believe that “in the end the brain seemingly heals in a mystical manner.” In a stunning metaphor, he describes the process as a gradual unfolding: “Imagine a piece of artwork like the Mona Lisa, folded up and stuffed in a duffel bag,” he writes. “Your mind unfolds itself.” This kind of highly original insight pervades the book. The writing style is informal, conversational and forthright, and the short chapters make for easy reading. Accounts from family members and a close friend augment this portrait of a determined man who fought his way back from the abyss. “I wanted to live,” he says, summarizing it all.

Authentic and genuinely inspirational.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-304-40014-7

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 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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