Health-conscious but also taste-centered, Shulman has already shared menus from her Paris dinner parties in Supper Club Chez Martha Rose (1988) and recipes for other company-worthy dishes in Mediterranean Light (1989). Here, she offers an eclectic sampling that reflects her current enthusiasm for Mediterranean food—a French-style rabbit in wine and mustard; a Catalan vegetable and garlic dish called escalivada—and mixes in unpretentious chile, pita, pizza, and pasta recipes that could be seen as updates on themes from her earlier Vegetarian Feasts books. In keeping with the entertainment motif, she includes a good array of ingenious but uncomplicated appetizers, some refreshingly personal advice on selecting and serving wine, and introductory notes on party planning and on light, low-fat entertaining. Salsas, marinades, stocks, herbs, liqueurs and wines, judicious dollops of olive oil, good fresh vegetables, and lots of smashing fish and seafood dishes—all provide robust flavors without excessive calories or fuss. Hosts should, however, be alert to the small portions (six ounces of pasta for three or four diners) that might need adjusting for robust appetites.
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").