A stirring book that offers an ideal blend of direction and comfort to fellow caregivers.



In this motivational memoir, Miller (No Man’s Land, 2003, etc.) uses poetry and advice to paint a poignant picture of her time as a caregiver to her spouse.

The author’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 55, and over time, her role in his life transformed from companion to caregiver to custodian. In this book, she divides this experience into three stages. The “Beginning Stage,” when Alzheimer’s is newly diagnosed, evokes a “flood of emotions,” she says, including “guilt over being short-tempered…sadness and anger about the diagnosis…jealousy toward those more fortunate, fear of the unknown, and doubt about one’s abilities.” This is the time for caregivers to “put things in order,” she asserts, and adjust to a new normal. The “Middle Stage,” she writes, is more of a “holding pattern,” as the patient’s functional abilities significantly decline and the caregiver’s burdens increase. Miller repeatedly emphasizes the need for caregivers to “take care of [their] health and sanity”—in part, by arranging for outside help. The “Final Stage” is often the longest and saddest, she notes, as caregivers prepare for the patient’s final decline: “Trying to carve out a separate life—along with the dichotomy of staying connected while letting go—is the major task for caregivers.” Miller’s artistic prose style is highly effective, and fellow caregivers will appreciate the articulate, genuine sentiments from someone who clearly understands their plight. After offering practical advice in brief chapter introductions, the author presents numerous creatively formatted, emotionally charged prose poems: “I am exhausted, alone, weary, / carrying both of us. Symbiotic victims—one excused, one invisible.” By being open about negative emotions, Miller avoids a major pitfall of many caregiving books in which the authors “must be saints or darn close,” as she puts it. But the book isn’t bleak, as the author also shares personal triumphs, such as finding peace in a support group.

A stirring book that offers an ideal blend of direction and comfort to fellow caregivers.

Pub Date: May 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9679584-0-8

Page Count: 294

Publisher: Kaleidoscope Kare

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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