A heartfelt example of humanitarianism at work.

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A SMALL FURRY PRAYER

DOG RESCUE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

A journalist and lifelong dog lover attests to the joy and the emotional fallout behind animal-rescue work. 

In the poignant preface, Kotler (West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief, 2006, etc.) movingly describes his psychologically exhaustion after the death of seven dogs in as many weeks at his New Mexico canine sanctuary, Rancho de Chihuahua. The altruistic author, who has battled Lyme disease, recounts his many years of selflessly caring for special-needs dogs (“the very old, the very sick, the really retarded”) with his wife, Joy, a fiercely devoted dog lover who spearheaded the effort. Kotler backtracks to early 2007 when he and Joy (then his girlfriend)—both writers, both broke—were unceremoniously booted out of their tiny Los Angeles home and immediately drove to Chimayo, N.M. Tucked in a dusty valley north of Santa Fe, Chimayo has a 60 percent poverty rate and is a regular target for federal drug raids. The region is also “the black tar heroin overdose capital” of America, a religious hotbed of miracle healings and supreme outlaw territory for “bikers and bandits and beatniks.” Amid isolation, uncertainty and overcrowding, it became home for Kotler, his wife and their amassed pack of rescues. Kotler lovingly describes pups like Gidget, rescued at barely two pounds; Ahab, formerly abused and harboring separation anxiety; Squirt, an obese “dachshund-pug hybrid”; and Salty, a “shell-shocked” three-pound Chihuahua with heartworm. Then there was Leo, a mangy pit bull who became the author’s first rescue in New Mexico, was euthanized before he could become adopted. In the strongest scenes, the book drives home the agony of pet loss. Kotler offers a touching account of Chihuahua adventures alongside interesting blurbs on the history of pet ownership, canine ethology, the semantics of the dog-adoption process, homosexuality in nature and the intricate science behind canine domestication.

A heartfelt example of humanitarianism at work.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-60819-002-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2010

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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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