A lovely and loving tribute to a special dog and, by extension, to all special dogs. And what dog isn’t?

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DOBIE

THE CANINE SAINT

The author, a Portland-based chiropractor and acupuncturist, writes about his healing relationship with a rescue dog.

Greenbaum (The Road to Peace Runs Through the Valley of Death, 2016, etc.) not only knows dogs; he knows how to write about them. Specifically, about his relationship with Dobie, a Rottweiler/Doberman mix. “Vicious,” as Dobie is originally named, is a badly neglected, 5-month-old pup foisted on the author by a friend. Not only was he not looking for a new dog, he certainly wasn’t looking for this one. “I had no desire for a Doberman, as they tend to be high-strung and hyper-nervous,” he writes. “I like the earthy, happy-go-lucky personalities of hunting dogs.” Heeding some unknowable inner voice, Greenbaum adopts her. Dobie’s physical problems (malnutrition, etc.) are easily fixed; not so her emotional scars. But one day, as he watches her sleep, “a strange, unfamiliar sentiment moved in my breast. It was that wordless contract a parent makes when he gazes upon his sleeping baby….I made a vow to care for her for the rest of her life.” That life is long, but as is true of all dogs, not long enough. Greenbaum recounts many of their adventures—nothing earth-shattering, just the usual stuff about hikes, a cross-country move, people coming in and out of their lives, etc. All too soon, he is writing about the aging Dobie, the trips to the vet, the final terrible, inevitable decision to put her down. Still, what the book is mostly about is affirmation—affirmation of that ineffable bond between humans and animals. Greenbaum readily acknowledges the widely held notion that people love pets because they provide unconditional love. But even more important, he notes, is the absolute need we humans have to give love: “Without even knowing there was a lesson, she taught that the exchange of love is the true joy and purpose of living.” This is a slim, unpretentious book that will have a hard time finding a place in an already overcrowded genre. But bred-in-the-bone (so to speak) dog people will find it worth seeking out.

A lovely and loving tribute to a special dog and, by extension, to all special dogs. And what dog isn’t?

Pub Date: May 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9796483-0-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Healing from the Heart Publications

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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