An artist’s moving story paired with his paintings.


Flight of the Mind... A Painter's Journey Through Paralysis

An art book chronicling the relationship between disability and creativity in one painter’s career.

Artist Thomas’ debut book, an oversized hardcover complete with full-page reproductions of his work and other accompanying images, will be right at home on many coffee tables. Thomas, who was rendered quadriplegic in a skiing accident at 26 and learned to paint by manipulating a brush with his mouth, mostly recreates scenes from the natural world he has always loved: flowers, shells, landscapes and, as his title suggests, a wide variety of birds. (The odd plane also reveals Thomas’ longstanding preoccupation with flight and passion for building model planes prior to his accident.) Thomas is a representative painter; his images are marked by a vivid color palette and a sense of detail so meticulously wrought his paintings sometimes approach a photographic realism. This said, he may be at his most affecting when he dabbles in portraiture or when his naturalistic works include some fantastic or fanciful element. In the painting Fishing Stories, for instance, the line between the real and the represented blurs—a painted fishing kit containing a small man and boat rests on an easel, but the kit’s strap then extends past the edge of the canvas to hang over the easel. It’s a slyly puzzling visual that suggests the exaggeration and truth-bending so common in fishing stories. Throughout the book, Thomas’ images are contextualized by Johnson’s written narrative, which traces Thomas’ life story from his active boyhood through the transformative experience of disability. With a journalistic but intimate tone, Johnson brings Thomas, his family and his wife, Anne, into vivid detail—not unlike a Thomas painting itself. The art and the text, which share a heartfelt wonder at the world and its occurrences, are well-paired, though more cynical readers may find this quality cloying.

An artist’s moving story paired with his paintings.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1938417047

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Lydia Inglett Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2014

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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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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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