A solid starting point for building a better divorce, but not a comprehensive resource.

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LOVE-JACKED!

DIVORCE YOUR SPOUSE NOT YOUR DOLLARS

In this slim debut, financial planner Sewell puts forth a new way of negotiating divorce.

According to Sewell, divorce is a game, but its players shouldn’t be spouses opposing one another; rather, the author contends, divorcing couples must view themselves as a team taking on the costly and soulless divorce industry. The book begins with an outline of current divorce models, from those negotiated entirely without lawyers to those dragged through the overburdened family law courts. Sewell outlines the basic structures and drawbacks of each, and she’s particularly against taking divorce to court, telling court-bound couples to “open your wallet, hug your kids, and hold on. You’re about to enter one of the worst legal processes we’ve created.” Though the author acknowledges that court or other standard methods of divorce may be the best choices for some couples, her central argument is that, for most people, there’s a better way: fair negotiation through financial planning. Of the financial counseling business she runs, Sewell writes: “We strongly encourage you to do something radical and get your complete financial analysis and several scenarios before going to see an attorney.” Through a series of examples and anecdotes, she builds a convincing case for making professional financial planning the centerpiece of a successful divorce. However, the book does little beyond persuading readers to hire a financial professional, and much of it feels like an extended advertisement for the author’s profession. The book includes some outlines of the financial documents and variables that divorcing couples need to consider, but these concrete details are too briefly discussed and too haphazardly organized to be of much use. Additionally, short sections on forming co-parenting plans and healing after divorce feel rushed and out of place, as if only serving as reminders that these issues are important. Though Sewell’s arguments are uniformly rational and persuasive, the book itself doesn’t provide all the tools and information necessary to put her conclusions into practice.

A solid starting point for building a better divorce, but not a comprehensive resource.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615637099

Page Count: 130

Publisher: wedlock-divorce.com

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 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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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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