A lighthearted, low-stakes recollection of a family-owned business.




In this chatty debut, a deli owner blends memoir and cookbook.

When Roseman was about to graduate from college, he and his parents opened a small sandwich shop and catering enterprise in Hamden, Connecticut. During a summer job in Manhattan, Pete noticed the cultural phenomenon of the nearly religious appreciation for an excellent sandwich in the middle of a busy day. He took this awareness into his own business, where he continued his education in the basics of food prep. As the family business progressed through several stages, finally becoming a popular Stamford, Connecticut, deli called the Gourmet Galley, Pete and his parents were often forced to learn on the fly. Whether coping with the catering disaster of running out of drinks during a heat wave or designing a simple trick to foil lunch-order thieves, the Rosemans met each challenge with perseverance, good humor, and appreciation for one another. Even while courting his future wife, Mei, Pete’s duties at the sandwich shop could not be shirked. Mei’s willingness to pitch in and help with the weekend rush confirmed his hopes that they were well-matched. Roseman’s prose, easygoing and informal, suits this unpretentious glimpse into the ethos of small business ownership, where the ambition is not multinational expansion but a good living through hard work. The memoir is strongest when the author is recalling pivotal personal experiences, such as an early restaurant job washing dishes or his return to practicing Judaism after years of nonobservance. It’s weakest when it attempts to be instructional. A section on “Sandwiches at Home” offers disappointingly generic advice, such as “buy a reputable brand of cold cuts” or “have some canned tuna around.” The sandwich recipes that punctuate the end of each chapter are bright spots of tantalizing simplicity. Especially notable is the “Light-n-Lively,” an enticing take on a BLT that adds avocado and sliced egg to a deli classic.

A lighthearted, low-stakes recollection of a family-owned business.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9988617-6-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Plum Bay Publishing, LLC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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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 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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