A debut book offers a comprehensive approach to living an “environmentally conscious” life.
In the realm of self-improvement books, focusing on a single area, such as diet or happiness, is a very common construct. Much rarer (and typically less successful) is a volume that attempts to take a holistic approach to virtually every aspect of life. Chayne, a recent college graduate, not only manages to cover a great deal of territory, but she does it with authority. Her concise book is divided into six parts, smartly labeled with a single word. “Nourish,” for example, explores eating well, whether “detox” is healthy, how to “master your body’s language,” food waste, the role farmers play in the food supply, and maintaining the planet’s biodiversity. Other parts pinpoint such areas as finding happiness (“Smile”), body health (“Revitalize”), and even responsible consumer buying (“Style”). Most of the content leans strongly toward being eco-friendly; in “Beautify,” for instance, the author offers a detailed list of cosmetic product ingredients to be wary of. Each part of the book is a tightly constructed section made up of chapters that are notable for their clarity and brevity. Every chapter provides a summary at the end (almost unnecessary given the minimal chapter length), and each part ends with a substantial list of references (in the case of “Nourish,” there are 86 articles, books, lectures, websites, and a documentary). The volume is remarkable in its ability to condense material of substance into bite-size segments. The benefit of such an approach is significant: Chayne paints with a very broad brush, offering a taste of many issues both large and small in just enough detail to get one’s mind working; if the reader wants to dig deeper, a wealth of additional resources are provided for further exploration. In this respect, the book delivers an impressive format: an encyclopedic work in scope that has been adapted to a contemporary environment for people who have neither the inclination nor the time to read a lot of specifics.
An elegantly written, passionately presented, cleverly organized guide to pursuing a healthy and responsible life.
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)