An immersive look at one man’s multi-decade journey as a doctor.

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CONFESSIONS OF AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST

A BRIEF CAREER IN ANESTHESIA 1978-2016

A retired anesthesiologist tells his life story in this all-encompassing autobiography.

Debut author Cottrell, who practiced anesthesiology for more than 30 years, decided that he would write a book chronicling his medical career and the difficulties that he faced in his personal life. Cottrell has expert insight into his field; indeed, he writes that anesthesia is “ingrained in my mindset and…intertwined with my daily rituals.” He starts out with an account of his residency in the mid-1970s in a Veterans Administration hospital in Florida, where he was still “pretty much of a novice.” As the decades progress, he gives in-depth descriptions of his most challenging cases and patients. In one memorable account of a case during his residency, for example, he describes how a patient’s unexpectedly reduced kidney function caused a troubling reaction to anesthesia; although the author says the case made him “embarrassed” and “defensive,” he also admits that it was a valuable learning experience. Eventually his job affected aspects of his life away from work, as well. He addresses three particular events that occurred over nine months in 1988 and ’89 that helped shape his overall outlook: the death of his father, the loss of a job, and the end of his marriage. Overall, Cottrell’s story is extremely comprehensive and precise. He goes through the painstaking effort of outlining each and every moment in his life that had an impact on his career, including each of his relationships with family members and colleagues, and each post that he held while he was a practicing anesthesiologist. His story is so detailed, in fact, that it feels almost too personal at times. However, readers who are interested in an account of “the challenges of a medical career from the inside” will likely find it of interest.

An immersive look at one man’s multi-decade journey as a doctor. 

Pub Date: July 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9978054-1-3

Page Count: 284

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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