Sure to delight Inman’s fans and probably win him some new ones.

READ REVIEW

THE TERRIBLE AND WONDERFUL REASONS WHY I RUN LONG DISTANCES

A short, laugh-out-loud graphic book about the promises and perils of exercise.

The hilarious and the profound are often only inches apart, and Inman (Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, 2013, etc.) consistently nails the space between them. Better known as The Oatmeal, the author’s irreverent and peculiar webcomics resonate with millions of cult followers who identify with his self-deprecating musings on life. Part confessional, part commentary, the book has enough humor and satire to qualify as comedy but also just enough honesty to strike resonance and possibly even provide inspiration. Why does Inman run? He likes to eat junk food. Running helps with his depression. It helps him keep ahead of both his personal demons and The Blerch, a pudgy little cherub who follows him around and “represents all forms of gluttony, apathy and indifference” that continually vex him. Inman’s caricatures of his own inner battles will be vaguely familiar to most. While running, for example, the Blerch floats behind him, offering nonstop suggestions: “Slow down, Captain SpeedyPants! Let’s go home! We’ve got gravy to eat and naps to conquer. Also, the Robocop trilogy on Netflix isn’t gonna watch itself.” Inman’s witty parodies and droll cartoon illustrations deftly penetrate defenses, proving to be oddly reassuring. When an ultramarathon runner portrays himself chugging Skittles and consuming Nutella through a straw, it raises the possibility that progress—whatever the endeavor may be—is possible. Make no mistake, however: Inman is in, but not of, a fitness culture fixated on physical and nutritional perfection. He pokes fun at hypervain gym culture and scoffs at culinary purity and restraint. Exercise is simply a means to an end for him. Running temporarily dials down the volume of his fears and insecurities and keeps him from becoming a fat kid again. That appears to be reason enough to keep him pounding the pavement.

Sure to delight Inman’s fans and probably win him some new ones.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4494-5995-6

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Andrews McMeel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 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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