A handsome memoir that should interest would-be sailors, as well as the author’s loved ones.

SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC

IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURE AND MOMENTS OF BLISS

The second entry in a retired couple’s seagoing travel memoir trilogy. 

The inaugural volume of Hofmann’s (The Long Way Back, 2017, etc.) remembrance of an around-the-world catamaran trip chronicled their travels from Canet, France, to San Diego, and this sequel follows them from there, through the South Pacific to Bundaberg, Australia, in 2002. Along the way, the author documents stops in such exotic locales as the Marquesan Islands, French Polynesian islands such as Tahiti and Bora Bora, and New Zealand. This time, the trip is haunted by the dark specter of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Still reeling from their expulsion from the biotech company they founded and frustrated by its subsequent floundering, the Hofmanns were in search of an opportunity for self-reflection and renewal. The author memorably describes their brushes with danger; while sailing though Tongan waters, for example, they heard a radio distress call seeking donations of A-positive blood after a shark attack. They also portray the quotidian quirks of long-distance travel, as well as their simple exhaustion. The book is once again vividly illustrated with full-page, color photographs, and crammed with diverting historical asides; for example, there’s a brief account of the Tahitian origin of the word “tattoo.” Also, this installment includes lessons that Gunter learned about sailing that could prove useful to readers who might be planning a boat trip of their own. Most readers won’t find all of the author’s account to be gripping, and at a certain point, it starts to feel like watching a stranger’s unedited vacation video. Hofmann’s writing, while lucid and sometimes poetic, can also be cliché-ridden. After describing some intramural drama among the staff at a Fijian resort, for instance, she adds, “The plot thickens.” Still, this is an informative travelogue overall, and a gorgeous coffee-table book.

A handsome memoir that should interest would-be sailors, as well as the author’s loved ones. 

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9840913-4-8

Page Count: 312

Publisher: PIP Productions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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