Despite its lack of new information, this intriguing book presents advice in a reassuring, approachable manner, providing...




A mother and her autistic son offer a mixture of self-help manual, memoir, and treatment guide.

Debut author Jon Wallace was considered a miracle baby. Born later in his parents’ lives, after his father had a vasectomy, Jon initially seemed to be a typical little boy. His mother, Ann (The Bridge: Think of These Things, 2016, etc.), and her husband, Larry, attributed Jon’s sleep difficulties and occasional behavioral problems to their own overindulgent parenting. By the time Jon was in preschool, they realized they needed to determine what special arrangements he required. Although his diagnosis of autism was surprising and heartbreaking, Ann had more difficulty reconciling her feelings of guilt for not obtaining early intervention services sooner. She traces her experiences in finding the right schools and teachers to help Jon flourish, recounting her journey from timid soul to lioness. While Jon had some missteps—such as trusting a guru who didn’t have his best interests at heart—he developed some abiding interests, like martial arts and spirituality, that provided stability. Now in his late 20s, Jon, with the love and support of his parents and others, has settled into an independent, productive life. This engrossing book is divided into five main parts: Early Years, Middle Years, Present, My Research, and Summation. While the first three sections read more like a memoir, the fourth, focusing on research, deftly summarizes Ann’s extensive body of knowledge on suspected contributing causes to autism (and a host of health problems). For the most part, Ann, a songwriter and therapist, presents the material dispassionately, although her opinions can be discerned. Nonetheless, her balanced approach is a striking departure from some books on autism. She also includes, in full, an article on the overuse of the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. Although Jon is credited as co-author, his most visible contributions are a few chapters solely written by him, although his memories undoubtedly informed much of his mother’s well-written and accessible narrative.

Despite its lack of new information, this intriguing book presents advice in a reassuring, approachable manner, providing hope to parents and others caring for children with autism.

Pub Date: April 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9914347-0-1

Page Count: 204

Publisher: Sonrise Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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


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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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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