A debut memoir detailing the author’s struggle to regain physical health and find internal peace during an arduous trip through India.
In January 2007, just a few days after her new husband, Dan, had returned to the United States, the then-32-year-old Brown found herself in a Mumbai hospital, suffering from inflammation in her knees that left her in excruciating pain and unable to walk. The plan had been for the couple to spend one month together in India on their honeymoon, and then Brown would continue on for several months “to do whatever it was [she] needed to do in India.” It was a spiritual trip, inspired by meditation, which she’d been planning before she met Dan. Although the book is, in part, an evocative travelogue (“Wherever you go in India, there always seems to be smoke in the air, the smoke of meals being cooked on a fire, of cumin and coriander and curry and turmeric egesting from their earthen shells into a man-made creation”), the bulk of the text is devoted to Brown’s personal physical, emotional, and spiritual journey. Although it’s a bit preachy and repetitive, it’s nonetheless a touching chronicle, peppered with humor and raw honesty. Back home, Brown was a nurse, but after severe bouts with dysentery resulted in the swelling in her knees, she says that she was alone and frightened, finding herself, for the first time, totally dependent on the kindness of strangers—including a cab driver, a young woman with the American Civil Services Unit at the American Embassy, and the health care workers and professionals at the hospital. After a few days, an American friend, Ashley, also traveling through India, arrived at her bedside and moved right into her hospital room, providing cheer, sustenance, and, happily, Percocet for the pain. Over the course of the book, Brown relates how she learned to take one step at a time, ever so slowly, and to open herself to accepting the experience, appreciating the moment, and surrendering to what is.
An often inspiring account that should find a solid fan base, especially among those interested in the teachings of mindfulness.
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)