Professional tennis coach Cootsona offers cuttingly humorous, brightly intelligent advice on how enthusiastic players can improve their games.
Thisdebut guide is a seriously enjoyable work of tennis wisdom. Cootsona, who has spent the past 29 years on the court as an instructor, has somehow managed to keep his sense of play and a twinkle in his eye. But as he cracks wise, with quotes from Gandhi, Goethe, Nietzsche, Churchill, Yogi Berra, Huey Lewis and the News, and, of course, William of Ockham, his advice simply shines. He’s not a man with a system; instead, he advises readers to tailor their games to their own physical abilities, learning styles and playing personalities. Despite the sport’s “pervasive subtlety and illusive proficiency,” he points out that tennis comes down to core elements: Hit the ball in the court, seek simplicity, and use your head as well as your ground strokes. He urges readers to follow the “Three Commandments”: Get your first serve in, close on the short ball, and hit the ball back three or more times. Tennis isn’t complicated, Cootsona reminds readers, but it is difficult, so one word guides all of his pointers: practice. He has no qualms about dishing out his beliefs—what tools are best to have in one’s playing arsenal, why control is key, and why it’s important to have a positive disposition and play to one’s abilities and limits. He focuses on helping readers to learn how to play a good game and conduct oneself with grace on the court and in the world. Overall, he shows how it’s important to square the face of the racquet but also to square one’s mind.
A fine tennis advice book about having fun while making a better you.
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").