A breast cancer survivor recounts her arduous journey in this debut memoir.
Before her diagnosis in 2010,attorney Dunnewold thought of herself as the “queen of compliance”—she didn’t smoke or “fool around,” and she practiced yoga and ate organic food. Her worst vices, she says, were “expensive chocolate and Grey’s Anatomy.” So in July 2010, when she discovered a “weirdly grainy area” in her breast, she wasn’t immediately worried. She was later told that she had “several tumors on both sides” and that her only option was a bilateral mastectomy. In the space of two years, Dunnewold came to terms with the fact that she had stage 3 cancer while enduring lifesaving surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, followed by reconstructive procedures. Her memoir candidly examines all aspects of her fight against breast cancer, from her first mammogram to nipple reconstruction and areola tattooing, and she relates her story with a probing, dry wit. For example, she tells of writing an email with the subject line “A Bump in the Road,” announcing to acquaintances she had cancer, and she confides, “I did not entitle my email ‘A Bump in the Boob,’ although I was tempted.” This dark sense of humor may not be to everyone’s taste, but it successfully counterbalances the unsettling facts that the author faces head-on: “Don’t think you’re so special,” she writes. “Don’t think you’re exempt.” What sets Dunnewold’s memoir apart from others of a similar nature is that it directly addresses the question “Why me?” and presents this line of thought as being unhelpful: “Sometimes what happens to us is a mystery. But we can take credit for how we respond.” Her writing also sparkles with clarity and wisdom throughout: “You want to know what lessons cancer taught me? Here’s The Big One: Life is too short to finish War and Peace.” Overall, this book may provide a valuable lifeline to those facing similar challenges.
An appealing, sharply self-inquisitive remembrance.
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").
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)