A familiar story but canine lovers should find much to enjoy in the antics (and photos) of an incorrigible border collie.




A debut memoir chronicles life with a 2-year-old rescue dog from a New Jersey shelter.

In 2013, Casale, a newly graduated veterinarian, realized his dream of adopting a dog. Miles Murphy, originally abandoned in Kentucky, burst into the author’s life with every ounce of pent-up energy a border collie who has lived in a series of shelters could muster: “Like a stallion out of the gates at the Kentucky Derby,” Miles bolted “out of the kennel.” This sweet, irascible 45-pound scamp would change Casale’s life. The author and his girlfriend Sarah (now his wife) had made all the appropriate preparations for Miles, but as any dog parent knows, new canines will have plenty of ideas of their own. Within the first couple of hours, Miles scored a corncob from the garbage, which Casale managed to retrieve when it was halfway down the pooch’s throat. They quickly learned that Miles had serious separation anxiety. He destroyed everything in sight when he was left alone so they secured him in his crate when they departed for work. But Miles proved to be a clever guy. One night, the author returned home to find Miles “had pulled the quilt through the top grate so hard that it dislodged the latches that kept the front door attached to the roof of the crate...it was like a jail break.” Casale has assembled an articulate, upbeat collection of vivid vignettes that are intended to recapture, for the author as much as for the audience, those many moments that form the unique relationship between human and canine. Frustrations, anger, and fears are overwhelmed by unabashed love and joy. In his engaging account, which features family photographs of Miles, Casale is also on a mission to promote rescue adoptions: “I can’t help but think about how many shelter animals’ lives could improve if they were as fortunate to share the benefits that their” purebred counterparts “were lucky to have.” As he writes in his dedication: “A home is just a reader’s choice away.”

A familiar story but canine lovers should find much to enjoy in the antics (and photos) of an incorrigible border collie.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5320-3185-4

Page Count: 222

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2018

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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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