All in all, a pleasure for hungry readers.

READ REVIEW

VORACIOUS

A HUNGRY READER COOKS HER WAY THROUGH GREAT BOOKS

An exploration of “the profound connection between eating and reading.”

Food blogger and Brooklyn-based butcher Nicoletti has pretty good taste in books and food alike, though some of them are acquired and perhaps won’t be widely shared. A pig’s head recipe, for example, has its gruesome aspects, and even if you call it Porchetta di Testa, there’s still that Lord of the Flies association. To her credit, Nicoletti doesn’t avoid that pairing—far from it. To her demerit, she has two chapters devoted to Donna Tartt and not a one devoted to Faulkner (corn soufflé, anyone?). Some of the recipes and their bookish pairings seem rather too obvious, and the book choices tend to the middlebrow: Lynne Banks’ The Indian in the Cupboard as inspiration for an ordinary roast beef sandwich just doesn’t quite scintillate. Sometimes the connections are a little loose, but they yield nice food anyway: Little House on the Prairie could have just as easily teamed with a recipe for corn dodgers, or for prairie oysters, for that matter, but the sausage concoction that Nicoletti serves up is an easy-to-make delight, certainly easier than taming the prairie. The author is at her best when keeping close to home and hearth and to the beloved books of childhood: readers will want not only to try her take on cacio e pepe, but also to hunt up Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona series of Calabrian-inspired yarns. Another highlight, obvious though it may be, is a Melville-an chowdah; Nicoletti deserves a medal for explaining elsewhere why hot soup in a blender isn’t a good idea, though she doesn’t work the obvious Phantom of the Opera (or V for Vendetta) possibilities. And is it too soon to say that no Sylvia Plath recipe should involve using an oven? Good, because Nicoletti’s recipe for a Bell Jar–inspired crab and avocado salad is lovely.

All in all, a pleasure for hungry readers.

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-24299-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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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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