An astonishing yet plausible story of recovery told with authenticity and a healthy dose of humor.


In this well-crafted memoir, debut author Rooney chronicles her journey toward holistic wellness as she healed from a host of debilitating diseases and years of “emotional malnutrition.”

At age 49, Rooney “was being treated for a laundry list of auto-immune diseases,” and her family was falling apart. As she paints this bleak picture, she introduces readers to her past through flashbacks—physical and sexual abuse as a child, her joyful marriage disintegrating as her husband’s career progressed, and dozens of doctors piling on diagnoses and medications. In 2010, Rooney’s life took a life-altering turn when she moved to Hawaii and met Xavier, a shrewd, composed Eastern healer who guided her toward health. With his help, she separated herself from the “toxic environment” of her family, established a healthy diet, and learned to nurture herself. But the biggest hurdle was weaning herself from the heavy medications she had become dependent on for years (prescribed “by licensed drug dealers,” as Xavier puts it). As she made monumental strides to improve physically, she also engaged in the grueling emotional work of overcoming the “pattern of self-destruction rooted in an inability to love [herself].” Rooney’s writing style is genuine and engaging; short chapters keep the pace lively. She casts herself as a skeptic of Xavier’s suggestions and highly stubborn in implementing them, which adds some levity: “Do I really have to love myself unconditionally to get well?” she asks. “Can’t we just double up on the acupuncture and…sing a rousing rendition of Kumbaya?” It also makes her a particularly effective advocate of alternative medicine for critics who hold the same views she once held. Lastly, she captures Xavier’s advice in memorable stories and phrases, like his observation that in healing, “there’s a point…where you stop swimming away from something and begin to swim toward something.”

An astonishing yet plausible story of recovery told with authenticity and a healthy dose of humor.

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64237-372-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2019

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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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