An anecdote-heavy manual appropriate for new or potential dog owners.

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The Puppy Diet

AND OTHER ENDEARING FAMILY DOG TAILS

Living with six family pets over 30 years inspired this nonfiction book about the trials and joys of dog ownership.

In 1973, Jupiter and her husband acquired their first dog, an Irish setter they called Lance. It went so well that the young couple brought another pup home one year later. Four English springer spaniels and two children followed, giving the author plenty of firsthand knowledge to impart about caring for family pets. In the title chapter, she recounts how she capitalized on an unintentional side effect of raising a messy, mischievous puppy: She turned the physically exhausting process into a calculated weight-loss regime. But this book isn’t about dieting. Instead, it’s a thorough depiction of dog ownership from the perspective of a candid matriarch. Jupiter describes how she trained her dogs to use an invisible fence, relates favorite games and tricks, and elaborates on topics such as health care, grooming, and rearing children and multiple pets together. The tone isn’t instructional, however; it reads like a memoir, with specific anecdotes and nostalgic portraits of each of her dogs. It’s hard not to smile when Jupiter decides not to cancel the morning newspaper delivery because Tory the dog enjoys retrieving it so much. The book is divided up by topic—dogs in bed, chow time, doggy empty nest—instead of chronology, which can make it difficult to keep track of each dog’s backstory, sometimes resulting in the same stories being told several times throughout the book. Writing in a forthright, conversational voice, and clearly a devoted dog lover, Jupiter doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff. She covers expenses, training mishaps and the heartbreak of saying goodbye to a pet. Often, in fact, there’s too much detail, as with the eight pages dedicated to one dog’s bed-wetting problem. While episodes such as this don’t make for an exciting literary adventure, the scrupulous explanations may be educationally valuable to readers who are considering adding a dog to their own families.

An anecdote-heavy manual appropriate for new or potential dog owners.

Pub Date: May 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-1480283558

Page Count: 226

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2013

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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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