Entertaining essays from a genial guide.




A comedian muses on life, love, and simple pleasures.

Host of a daily SiriusXM show as well as a podcast, Papa gives ample evidence of his “ability to live on the happy side of the street” in a collection of funny, warmhearted essays whose overarching messages are, “we should be grateful for what we have” and “shouldn’t take life all that seriously.” The author is thankful for many things, including coffee (at the first sip each morning, he writes, “my entire being knows the day is about to improve”); baking bread, which he does with unabashed pleasure; a weekly date night, which he claims keeps a marriage happy; gathering for dinner with his wife and two daughters (“I just want to look up and see them and have them see me and realize we’re family. That’s why we eat together”); and indulging his desires at 7-Eleven stores, “crammed with everything you could ever need or want, just waiting for your arrival like delicious outposts on the modern-day prairie.” Papa encourages everyone to find someone to love, which, with 7 billion people in the world, should not be difficult. Love, he writes, is “finding someone whose flaws you can put up with.” Certainly, a few things annoy the author: loud, rude people, for example, who invade places that should be quiet and soothing, like breakfast rooms of motels. But if a few essays display irritation, most are generously encouraging. “Our minds are our worst critics,” he writes. “We do it to ourselves.” To keep thinking positively, Papa advises, “you need to avoid anything that can bring you down.” The most delightful essay is a nostalgic paean, reminiscent of E.B. White, to the funky, close-knit Manhattan neighborhood where he and his wife first lived: “we loved it, we loved each other, and even if we wanted to leave, our roots were growing deeper.”

Entertaining essays from a genial guide.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-24039-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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



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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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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