One man’s humorous tips on navigating the complex marriage highway.
As columnist for the Guardian, Dowling (The Giles Wareing Haters' Club, 2007, etc.) is used to discussing his personal relationships with a public audience. In this laugh-out-loud memoir, he goes in depth in to the 10 years between bachelorhood and fatherhood. From navigating the rocky shores of two continents to be with the woman he loved to the decision to get married, with the caveat they could always get divorced, to the unexpectedness of seeing his firstborn son and the ensuing years of parenthood, Dowling delivers a running commentary on how he stumbled and bumbled his way through it all and somehow achieved a stable and successful union. He also remarks on living with his in-laws and the complicated issues surrounding death. Although not a self-help book, nuggets of unexpected, useful advice on how to be a good husband can be found hidden in the author’s witticisms. When doing a comparison on relevancy between husbands of 1950 versus 2014, he observes, “Being a good husband: 1950—Every time you go out for cigarettes, you come back. Being a relevant husband: 2014—Every time you’re sent out for espresso pods and tampons, you come back with the right sort.” This is sound guidance from a man who has spent much of his time multitasking as a househusband and freelance writer. Multiple lists of helpful advice cover topics such as the necessary items for a DIY tool cupboard (epoxy resin is No. 1), “five things you can actually fix by hitting them with a hammer” and 40 tips on achieving “gross marital happiness” based on the country of Bhutan’s goal of Gross National Happiness for every individual. Dowling’s entertaining commentary on marriage will resonate with men and women alike.
Tongue-in-cheek observations on married life coupled with poignant moments of true love and grief.
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").
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)