An instructor at a Minnesota fitness center run by her husband, Robert K. Cooper (Health & Fitness Excellence, 1988), Leslie Cooper offers here some run-of-the-treadmill dietary advice (essentially, whole-grain complex carbohydrates and limit fat to a moderate 25% of calories), as well as recipes that avoid red meat and use whole-grain breads and pastas and part-skim cheeses—but that by no means eliminate eggs and butter. Lame tips on eating out (to select a restaurant, ``the yellow pages are a good place to start''), packing lunch, and planning quick breakfasts (leftover muffins, nonfat yogurt) precede a 28-day meal plan that includes such dinner entrees as soybean au gratin and baked potato with tuna sauce. The recipes all come with nutritional analyses, a service less unique than the author makes out—as are her ``low fat'' adaptations: She acknowledges in introducing her guacamole that avocados are high in fat but claims outlandishly that ``most recipes also call for mayonnaise or sour cream.'' Overall, Cooper displays a fuzzy understanding of food and nutrition (she seems to think that olive oil is polyunsaturated and that polyunsaturated is best) and makes some arbitrary substitutions and recommendations. If Cooper didn't so exaggerate her own contributions, it would be easier to buy the book as another addition to the low-fat shelf, simply for its undemanding moderation. As is, it's harmless.
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)