An intensely personal manual outlining both the challenges and the hopes of key aspects of the Christian experience.

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WINNING THE BATTLE WITHIN

OVERCOMING THE GIANTS INSIDE OF US

A guide explores some of the trials facing modern-day Christians.

In this slim book, Bryant (God’s Servant, 2016, etc.) intertwines general observations about the problems facing fundamentalist Christians with more specific autobiographical segments. She tells the story of her spiritual overcompensations, at one point becoming a “prude” with no visible humanity. She recalls having a mental breakdown and being hospitalized in 2000, emerging in a fragile, unformed state and embarking on a “roller coaster” ride in her personal and spiritual life. The theme running through most of her personal tales is one of self-help, of having the strength and perspective to concentrate on herself. “I learned that the best way to demonstrate that I loved the ones who cared for me,” she writes, “was to take care of myself.” And the author keeps her eye on the bigger picture, reminding her readers that when it comes to invidious self-doubt and the envy of others, they should remember always that the only relationship they need to prioritize is the one with the Lord. The author recounts her struggles with self-image in moving terms; she finally reminded herself that she was as God made her. The book’s standout flaw stems directly from Bryant’s unwillingness to extend such understanding, implying at one point that both promiscuity and gay sexuality are the direct results of the “shame, confusion, and guilt” of sexual abuse. When the author herself was the victim of inappropriate fondling, she remembers that she briefly found herself attracted to women until intense prayer created a breakthrough and allowed her to throw off her “oppression.” The rest of the book is more welcoming, reminding Christian readers that they are called to service rather than status. The whole text is rendered in a clear, approachable tone that should appeal to readers who have been encountering obstacles of their own in their faith journeys.

An intensely personal manual outlining both the challenges and the hopes of key aspects of the Christian experience.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68197-012-7

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2018

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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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