RED-TAILS IN LOVE

A WILDLIFE DRAMA IN CENTRAL PARK

This story is for the birds—but even non-avians will applaud this winning narrative of romantic raptors and other feathered habituÇs of Manhattan's Central Park. Surprisingly, Central Park is one of the top birdwatching spots in America: The bird census in 1996 came to 275 separate species, counted by a dedicated cadre of birdwatchers and naturalists of which Winn (Unplogging the Plug-In Drug, 1987) is an early-rising member. While the eponymous hawks are the stars of this show, the dramatis personae include seed-stealing squirrels, chickadees, woodpeckers, the ubiquitous pigeon, the birdwatchers themselves, and two human celebs: Mary Tyler Moore, on whose Fifth Avenue building the red-tails construct their nest, and Woody Allen, whose penthouse is within easy binocular range one block north. Over the course of four breeding seasons, Winn and company anxiously observe Pale Male and two or perhaps three different females as they struggle to raise a family while beset by assorted man-made and natural perils. The birdwatchers protect the nest from workmen on scaffolds; they rescue Pale Male and his first mate when they are injured; they fret over the effects of the Pocahontas premiere on the park's Great Lawn (the hawks do not seem to mind). When chicks finally hatch, these enraptured raptor watchers keep vigil, readily sharing telescopes and binoculars with passers-by. Winn writes with great knowledge of the habits of the park's wildlife, but she is equally observant, slyly so, of the tendencies of the human species, particularly those inhabiting the Upper East Side; the best story here, perhaps, is that of the devoted core of amateur birdwatchers—Winn included—who forfeit sleep and frequently money to preserve a little wildness in the city. Written with warmth and modesty, a great book for birders and nature readers, as well as an interesting portrait of New Yorkers. Winn thoughtfully includes an informative ``Wildlife Almanac'' in the appendix.

Pub Date: March 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-679-43997-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1998

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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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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