This 14th entry in the Knopf Cooks American series is top- notch (even Knopf's trademark borzoi has gotten into the spirit, sporting a jaunty toque). Cookbook writer Dooley (Peppers, Hot and Sweet, not reviewed) and Watson, owner of an eponymous restaurant in Minneapolis, update regional favorites with sensible revisionism. Our guides present foods from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, upper Michigan, and eastern North Dakota that reflect varied northern and eastern European immigration, cold weather, long distances between homes, and—as in the case of a pliant white bread using leftover mashed potatoes—the sturdy, thrifty values for which the Midwest is known. Along with the clear, extremely functional recipes are bits of information about such local delicacies as lutefisk (preserved codfish brought over from Norway) and the ice cream sundae, which was invented in Two Rivers, Wis. One entire chapter is devoted to ``hot dishes''—one-dish meals popular for church suppers and other informal gatherings; and alongside the traditional chicken pot pie, Dooley and Watson offer innovations like roasted vegetable strudel. Even a standard leftover meat casserole is perked up with caramelized onions and cognac. Likewise, dairy and egg options include blintzes that would not have been out of place in a turn-of-the-century kitchen though pepped up with fresh corn in the batter and fresh basil in the ricotta and Parmesan cheese filling. Hearty, homey eating, imbued with today's wisdom. Even coastal snobs will be dashing to the kitchen. (75 b&w illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1994

ISBN: 0-679-41175-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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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

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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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