A well-researched call for healthy eroticism within heterosexual marriage.


Bedchambers: A Marital Obsession With Erotic Love & Spiritual Oneness

A husband and wife dispel myths about the role of marital sex in this book of personal growth.

The Song of Solomon, according to the authors, is a love story that serves as a model for modern Christian marriage. Ron and Patti Marinari argue that Abishag, David’s consort in the Book of Kings, is the unnamed female protagonist in this Old Testament poem. (Ron Marinari [The Calling, 2008, etc.] is the author of other religious books and is a pastor of The Church of the Hills in Bedminster, New Jersey.) Although she’s poor and works in the fields, Abishag nevertheless ensnares King Solomon in the authors’ depiction, and their love affair reveals a surprising eroticism, including such acts as oral sex and manual stimulation. Asserting that any consensual act not expressly forbidden by Scripture belongs in Christian traditional marriage, the book gives frank, practical advice, such as 20 different types of kisses that can be exchanged between husbands and wives, five thoughts on establishing rules for the bedchamber (such as not allowing resentment in) and 12 ways to prevent erosion of a relationship. In addition, the Marinaris confront modern issues such as perfectionist parenting, temptations to cheat, and the misconception that dancing with one’s spouse is forbidden. Although this is a book for couples, some chapters are targeted specifically toward wives, although women are invited to share their chapters with their husbands, if they wish. Each chapter also includes a list of questions for discussion. This book’s wide-ranging advice may benefit married people of any faith tradition (“This is not the story of a right-wing, conservative, middle-aged man and his stay-at-home wife,” they note). It’s clearly aimed solely at heterosexual married couples, however; at one point, for example, lesbianism is characterized as an “alternative lifestyle.” That said, the authors effectively argue that sex is profoundly spiritual, and denounce rule-based strictures that prevent erotic joy in marriage. In the introduction, for example, they note statistics that show that self-described fundamentalists are likely to view pornography, and they cite this as “an example of how imposing laws on people truly fails to change their hearts.”

A well-researched call for healthy eroticism within heterosexual marriage.

Pub Date: July 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4575-4015-8

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2015

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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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