Somewhat dry but easy-to-follow guide to the mysterious world of homemade dairy products.

The latest addition to English’s Homemade Living series (Keeping Bees with Ashley English, 2011, etc.) joins the ranks of countless new titles that invite readers to forego the suburban supermarkets for their kitchens instead. After a brief overview of the deliciously active role of dairy throughout human history, the author jumps right in to the tools of the trade. Readers unfamiliar with mesophilic cultures and curd knives need not fear; the English’s spirited, encouraging tone will soon have readers believing that they, too, can produce the cheddar they so eagerly reach for in the refrigerated aisle. “I love the self sufficiency and empowerment I feel when I take a humble gallon of milk and create something entirely different. It’s...part science, and part magic,” home cheesemaker Claudia tells the author in one of the many sidebars that appear in the manual. These inserts, often biographies of other members of the DIY dairy revolution, could have upped the entertainment value of the book had they been peppered with clever anecdotes and quips on the challenges of making your own cheese. But English is no slouch at demystifying the intricacies of home dairy; from the simplicities of churning out your own delectable butter to pressing your very first gouda, the author covers it all in clean, unpretentious, step-by-step instruction. Excellent for those looking to take a slight step off the grid.


Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60059-627-8

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Lark/Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet