Intelligence, empathy, and optimism inform the argument for new research on cancer that could obviate the suffering...

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THE FIRST CELL

AND THE HUMAN COSTS OF PURSUING CANCER TO THE LAST

A welcome argument that we are overdue for a change in the paradigm for treating cancer.

Raza (Medicine/Columbia Univ.) decries the “protocol of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—the slash-poison-burn approach to treating cancer” that has remained unchanged for decades.” She points out the billions spent on research to find and target a single mutated gene or a faulty signaling pathway at a time when a seasoned tumor has evolved into a chaotic mass of malignant cells reproducing in multiple clones with varying genetic and cellular derangements. In this approach, researchers study human tumors as static entities in tissue culture or injected into mice whose immune systems and microenvironments are in no way comparable to the cancers seen in mostly elderly patients. Consequently, it’s not surprising that candidate cancer drugs fare dismally in human trials and that the few that offer some hope extend the life of patients by only weeks—and at great cost. The author does not ignore the recent success with immunotherapy, but she notes that the therapy remains limited and comes with its own risks and side effects. What she wants instead is research to address prevention and the initiation of the cancer process—find and eliminate the first faulty cells. Her approach may be inspired in part by her own research on a pre-cancer syndrome that can develop into acute myeloid leukemia. She describes her efforts in that area as well as new research aimed at finding blood or tissue biomarkers of those first cancer cells. Her explanation of the science and her brief history of cancer research would be enough to recommend this volume to general readers, but it is in the case histories of cancer patients she has treated, including her late husband’s, where Raza’s eloquence is on full display. With elegant literary references and a compassion that deeply personalizes her interactions with patients and families, she engages readers in a commitment to finding a better way.

Intelligence, empathy, and optimism inform the argument for new research on cancer that could obviate the suffering prevalent today.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5416-9952-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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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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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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