A cancer survivor describes her path to health with frank, endearing self-deprecation.

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Nothing is Promised

In her debut work, an affecting memoir, Belson reflects on her experiences battling breast cancer.

In 2000, Belson was a 55-year-old woman, mother, preschool teacher and proud New Yorker. Two weeks after attending her son Matthew’s wedding, Belson received unfortunate news from her doctor about the results of her mammogram. Later, Belson learned that there was a cancerous cyst in her breast. Devastated, she looked for refuge in her relationship with her mother-in-law, Maxie, who was the first to understand the severity of her illness. Maxie’s support of Belson ranged from quiet conversation to a nostalgic trip to Atlantic City. The author also had the encouragement of her close friends, who significantly buoyed her spirits. After her surgery, Belson struggled to regain control of her life—until Sept. 11, 2001, which upended her feelings of security but also inspired her to “appreciate the potential richness of my life.” Belson’s unguarded account was undoubtedly cathartic. She provides the reader with a personal description of her disease, which may resonate with others in similar circumstances, particularly since she covers numerous experiences—procedural details during check-ups, surgery and recuperation. Her story is remarkable in that she finds her courage in her friends and family. She addresses her existential grappling with mortality, but she also candidly limns the physical and psychological effect of losing her breasts and having reconstructive surgery: “Standing in front of my full-length mirror, I looked at my refitted bosom, and then slowly revisited my body’s scars, many of which represented an effort to preserve my life.”

A cancer survivor describes her path to health with frank, endearing self-deprecation.

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0990388807

Page Count: 200

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

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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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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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