Inspirational words for organ donors, transplant patients, and their families and friends.




Faith and family help a man through risky heart transplant surgery, as chronicled in this debut memoir.

In 2008, after a long and successful career in business, Cunha was easing into retirement when a health crisis upended his life. A cardiologist informed him his heart was “shot.” Medications, a pacemaker, and a defibrillator would keep him going for a time, but a heart transplant was his only chance of surviving long term. By 2013, he was a patient in Emory University Hospital’s cardiac care unit, waiting for the transplant he hoped would save his life. Cunha walks readers through each step of his illness, from the disease’s early stages to a 70-day wait for a new heart in the CCU to the long and difficult recovery period after his successful surgery. The book is brief but informative, illuminating the day-to-day reality for organ transplant patients and their families. Cunha was lucky that he had the resources to seek out care from top-notch physicians not only at Emory, but also the Cleveland Clinic, “the #1 cardiac hospital in the U.S.” But even with all his advantages, he was often frustrated by a medical system that didn’t always seem to put patients’ needs first. While he praises the doctors and nurses who provided exemplary care, he doesn’t hesitate to call out those whose bedside manners left something to be desired. The power of family is emphasized, as Cunha’s wife, children, grandchildren, and other loved ones were invaluable sources of support, while his strong Roman Catholic faith got him through darker moments. Most movingly, Cunha writes about meeting his heart donor’s mother, who found comfort in the idea that a part of her 20-year-old son lived on through the author. More than a few readers will likely heed Cunha’s call to become organ donors themselves. The book’s greatest weakness is its brevity. Additional information about the shortage of donors in the U.S. and how the few organs available for transplant are allocated would have been welcome.

Inspirational words for organ donors, transplant patients, and their families and friends.

Pub Date: April 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4787-7199-9

Page Count: 154

Publisher: Outskirts

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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