A funny, rambling account of addiction and recovery.

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You Can Leave Anytime

A MEMOIR BY ROB DINSMOOR

Dinsmoor (The Yoga Divas and Other Stories, 2010) recounts his stint in rehab for alcoholism in this new memoir.

In 2011, the author, a 53-year-old yoga instructor and freelance writer, checked himself in for a monthlong program of sobriety at the Wetlands Rehabilitation Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Convinced that he needed to quit drinking by a concerned cabal of friends and family, Dinsmoor was finally willing to seek professional help to curb a habit that had grown worse over the decades: “Time was when a six pack or a small bottle of wine would put me under, but now it took about twice that.” Life in rehab bore a strange resemblance to life back in elementary school: the center was segregated by gender, patients were monitored around the clock, and petty grievances took on inflated importance. Even a certain juvenile sense of humor arose: Dinsmoor remembers how one rehab technician admonished her patients after discovering a crude drawing of genitalia on a sign-in sheet: “From a distance, all I could see was a squiggle, but I was pretty sure I knew what it was.” His planned stay of 28 days ended up stretching to three months, and he recounts his adventures along the road to recovery, including going into withdrawal when he was taken off Ativan, accusing his roommate of secretly using cocaine, and having to bunk with the most active drug dealer in the compound. Through it all, the author tells his tale with an eye for the absurd and the humor of a man who thinks he’s the only sane cuckoo in the nest. He’s a confident writer with a practiced comic timing, and although his story isn’t particularly dramatic or traumatic, it offers welcome insight into the rehabilitation industry and the sorts of characters found therein. The most intriguing conclusion readers may draw from his experience is that despite the fraternity of sponsors and support groups, recovery is ultimately a solitary pursuit. As people fade in and out, fall off the wagon, or disappear, one is reminded that the only person who can keep a patient sober is the patient himself.

A funny, rambling account of addiction and recovery.

Pub Date: June 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9890113-2-7

Page Count: 218

Publisher: Art2000

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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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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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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