Travel blogger Holmes (I’ve Gotta Pack, 2011) encourages travelers to leave their stress behind in this motivational memoir.
Almost everyone wishes that they could travel more, but so few people are able to make it a priority. With the omnipresent stresses of work and family, it can be easy to put off desired travel unless someone gives you a friendly shove, as the author attempts to do here. “I’d love to give you a nudge and tell you a few tales about how travel has changed me,” writes Holmes in her introduction to this emphatically pro-vacation volume. About two years after quitting her ad agency job in 2003 and starting her own marketing company, Holmes embarked with a friend on a whirlwind tour of Paris before joining a hiking group that climbed 4,000 feet up Mont Blanc. Another time, she and three friends took a car on a 10-day odyssey through Spain and the Pyrenees. Holmes encourages Americans to travel within the United States as well, as she did during an adventure across California and Nevada as part of a group that she playfully refers to as “5 Hos and a Bro.” Nearly every page of the book features uncredited, full-color photographs of Holmes and her companions or of some of the sites that she describes. Holmes is an affable, if idiosyncratic, tour guide; for instance, she’s a big fan of cheeky acronyms, such as “BYOB” for “Be Your Own Boss” or “PWDS” for “People Who Don’t Suck.” Her stories are fun, though not outrageous, and involve such things as botched hotel reservations or munching on unusual foods. She mostly visits rather well-known places during her one- or two-week getaways, and by making clear how much fun she had and how much she cherishes her memories, she’ll instill a powerful desire in the hearts of readers to do similar things with their own friends and family members. Indeed, by the end of the first chapter, some readers may start planning excursions of their own.
A lighthearted travel book that encourages through example.
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)
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").