A small Italian village’s secret to the Fountain of Youth.
Deep in the heart of the Aurunci range on the shores of central Italy lies a village where the average life expectancy for both men and women is 95, earning it the sobriquet Il Paese dell’Eterna Giovinezza (The Village of Eternal Youth). This fact caught the attention of British journalist Lawson, who traveled to Campodimele to investigate the phenomenon. “I came to Campodimele hoping I might learn how to live longer, but discovered something much more important—how to live well,” she writes. The author’s lighthearted mix of recipes and anecdotes are written with delicate prose that pays homage to the area’s lifestyle and emphasizes the value of subtleties attributed to the residents’ longevity. Lawson divides the sections by month, focusing on what the seasonal harvest brings—snails, wild boar, asparagus and more. Lawson observes that Italians don’t “need an official call to celebrate. A new crop is a chance to invite your neighbors for lunch and enjoy the first fava beans of the year; a sunny day is an excuse for a walk in the mountains and meat grilled over an open wood fire; the start of the hunting season is the moment to gather friends for dinner to share your first kill of the year.” It’s an ideology she soon embraced. The author’s account of a year in Campodimele doesn’t burden readers with scientific information involving genetics, environment and diet. Rather, it captures the essence of everyday life.
Delightfully transports readers into the kitchens and the spirits of the villagers’ longstanding customs.
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)
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").