Wistful and witty personal essays; best enjoyed in nibbles.

TIME PIECES 2

AN INFORMAL MEMOIR

In this sequel, a writer shares a collection of random memories spanning several decades—simple yet special moments that still tickle his brain and send his fingers to the keyboard.

Lubow (Time Pieces, 2016, etc.) grew up in Chicago in the 1940s and ’50s. For most of his professional life, he worked in advertising, eventually opening his own successful agency in the Windy City. And it is with an adman’s skill that he distills the small events of his life to their sensory core. In this collection of essays ranging in length from one paragraph to no more than three or four pages, he shares his joys, gripes, and occasional bits of wisdom through reflections on things as poignant as his grandfather dying suddenly in front of him when he was 5 years old, and as ordinary as a bowl of “Cheerios with real milk and sugar. Yeah...” A piece entitled “1957” is a nostalgic riff on what was for the author a perfect time and place, before cellphones, passwords, and internet slang. “I don’t need air conditioning, don’t like seatbelts or the underpowered cars of today,” he tells readers. “I was fine with life as I personally knew it in 1957. Would I go back? In a flash.” There’s plenty of soft-edged humor, but Lubow’s clever essays also reveal a sense of melancholy: “I wondered recently about the certain low-level of insecurity many of us live with, and this seems to be more pronounced as we get older, especially if we’re loners….Maybe it’s time to take something for the chronic itch of insecurity that seems here to stay.” Most of the pieces are lighthearted—wonderful stories from the author’s days as an adman and essays that explore his love of words in all their varied contexts, including an overly long description of his passion for crossword puzzles. And in “The anti-gourmet of today.,” he admits, with self-deprecating humor, to a wide range of quirky food preferences, unusual culinary combinations that indeed sound rather unsavory.

Wistful and witty personal essays; best enjoyed in nibbles.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-70163-988-1

Page Count: 141

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

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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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