An unevenly written but comforting book of spiritual affirmations.




CassanoLochman (The Man with the Sand Dollar Face, 2017, etc.) offers inspiration with a lyrical bent in this collection of short essays.

Everyone needs an occasional pick-me-up, and that’s precisely what the author seeks to provide with this collection of 147 inspirational shorts, the first in a trilogy. In each piece, she aims to lift readers from a place of doubt and set them on a path to gratitude and joy. Addressing the reader as “my friend,” CassanoLochman weaves a web of poetic language meant to encourage, soothe, and celebrate, as in the piece “Toil Happily / Seriousness with Moderation”: “My friend, slow down, take a breath. Important it is to allow for lazy days of play and misspelled words.” Some pieces address particular troubles, such as “Memories Cycled / Forgiveness” or “Blanket of Light / Depths of Depression”: “Depression is the equalizer. Souls taken hostage regardless of social or ethnic status. Slithering forth hidden under the cloak of fear.” Many assert the necessity of embracing the love of God: “My friend, the angst you feel is separation from God’s love.” Despite the title, CassanoLochman’s writings take the form of prose, not verse, although they do contain a number of poetic elements, including fragmentary sentences and figurative imagery: “I witnessed the tragedy. Heartbroken was I. For you stopped midstream. Your heart raced happily with words straining to flee. But fear of those near silenced your song.” Some tend to be rather abstract and clichéd, offering advice that feels vague and untethered from everyday life. Furthermore, the author has a fondness for placing verbs at the end of clauses, giving the prose an odd, Yoda-like syntax at times. Still, many of these pieces have a calming effect, as though someone is whispering in one’s ear with a soft, even voice. Although the concept of God is central to the project, the author doesn’t delve into any particular dogma, allowing for audiences of various faith traditions.

An unevenly written but comforting book of spiritual affirmations.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-944878-80-1

Page Count: 171

Publisher: Ontario Shore Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



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

Did you like this book?


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet