A solid, informative self-help divorce guide.

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DIVORCE BOOTCAMP FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME WOMEN

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO NAVIGATING DIVORCE

Attorney Merrill leads women through the complicated process of divorce while warning against common mistakes.

In this exhaustive 558-page guide, the author covers a range of topics related to contested and uncontested divorces, including how to gather documentation of assets, estimate child support and alimony, and even, if necessary, obtain restraining orders. She discusses many topics related to asset division and child custody, including marital debt and visitation rights. The book is aimed at the broadest possible audience, but it also discusses variations in state laws. Much of Merrill’s advice revolves around how women can receive the best financial result. For example, she advises readers about cancelling joint credit cards and spotting instances of “asset hiding” by their soon-to-be-former spouse. She explains how to prepare for trial, the rules surrounding court appearances, common lines of questioning, and other circumstances women may encounter during the legal process. The author even describes her own negative experience with divorce, which happened before she went to law school. Throughout, Merrill mixes serious instructional information with humor and pop culture references, which often gives the book an informal, colloquial voice, as if the reader is attending a seminar with the author. However, it also means that there’s some variation in tone, depending on the chapter. Some readers, particularly those who view divorce as a traumatic rather than freeing experience, may find Merrill’s style a bit off-putting or even jarring. However, the author consistently provides sound and helpful advice to inform readers about the many possible pitfalls of divorce.

A solid, informative self-help divorce guide. 

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-1480101265

Page Count: 558

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2013

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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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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

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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