New Age hokum meets true perception in this work of horticultural confession and counsel. ``Inner gardening is about thinking for yourself, being yourself, and then watching the results flower around you.'' Handelsman, onetime gardening columnist for New Age Journal and Vogue, finds in plant life a dependable source of human spiritual renewal. For her, gardening is an introspective pleasure that doubles as a metaphor for our own survival. In this collection of linked essays about her coming of age as a gardener and as a woman, the metaphor can be strikingly persuasive when the writer decides to tell revelatory personal stories. For instance, her account of watching a 100-year-old cottonwood tree, ``like a living green Sphinx,'' be felled near her home in Bishop, Calif., conveys the horror of gratuitous slaughter and helpless mortality with a disarming power. But when Handelsman writes in more general terms about gardening's virtues, she sometimes makes herself ridiculous. This devout member of the Prince Charles school of plant relations- -i.e., talk to 'em—advises us: ``Ask the plant to help you'' and ``Thank your plants whenever you can.'' She believes that ``plants provide unconditional love,'' and she needs them to. So when beneficially predatory praying mantises turned up to patrol her cosmos flowers, she ``blew them kisses and billed and cooed.'' Sentimentality set loose in a yard can seem deranged, no matter how good the cause. Some unusual insights are mixed in here with utter daftness.

Pub Date: June 17, 1996

ISBN: 0-525-94057-X

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1996

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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