ALICE'S BRADY BUNCH COOKBOOK

What is there to say about a cookbook whose the author openly admits, ``Personally, I can't cook''? Davis, who played the ever- devoted housekeeper, Alice, on The Brady Bunch, supplies fatuous commentary (``A nice show about nice people who were mostly very nice to each other. Gosh, that doesn't sound so terrible, does it?''), along with updates on each of the cast members (Christopher Knight, who played Peter, has appeared on ``The Love Boat,'' as has his TV sibling Maureen McCormick, better known as Marcia). Lines from episodes are plopped onto the page without any context. Recipes by playwright Newcomer (co-founder of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival) and theatrical director Smolen are linked to the show only through nonsensical names like ``Cindy's Buttery Just Butter Cookies'' and ``House of Cards Hamburgers.'' Apparently Alice rarely served the kids any fruits or vegetables. Dishes are heavy on prepared foods (many desserts incorporate store-bought candy) and red meat (Sam the Butcher's influence, no doubt), but if these are meant to reflect the Brady era, where do pesto and Brie come in? Cookies made with instant oatmeal and Snickers bars are way too sweet, and St. Paddy's Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread has the texture of sawdust and a dog-biscuit taste only Tiger could love. A final chapter gives recipes from the cast members themselves, including Eve Plumb's lamely joking instructions for making boiled water out of ice. Even intense nostalgia cannot justify this book. (Photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1994

ISBN: 1-55853-307-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1994

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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