Reassuring primer that confidently takes flight.

READ REVIEW

To All Airline Passengers

A commercial airline pilot addresses layperson questions/concerns about flying in this debut informational guide.

Diaz, a Florida-based airline captain with nearly 30 years’ experience, is often hit up for his professional opinions while out at dinner parties. “This book was inspired by the fact that a lot of people, especially in social gatherings, when they know I am an airline pilot, ask me different kinds of questions,” he says. In this slim book, Diaz seeks to cover an array of such FAQs, including an overview of the aerodynamics of how an airplane can take off, stay aloft, and land and descriptions of the many training, safety, and warning processes and procedures performed by airline crews. He touches on details large and small, including, for example, how cabin air flow must cut off while engines are being started—“There is nothing you can do to get air, even though the outlet is fully open. Just be patient until the engines are started”—and how turbulence is simply “the equivalent to choppy or rough waters.” He dedicates a chapter to flying in winter, underscoring the necessity and importance of de-icing wings and heating windshields, and concludes with a reference guide to industry abbreviations and definitions. As in those in-flight pilot announcements, Diaz offers a voice of soothing authority that should particularly please white-knucklers overly stressed about flying. His accessible narrative poses Q-and-A’s in eye-catching subheadings, with answers conveyed in a pleasant, nonpatronizing tone. Diaz doesn’t delve into larger and looming issues facing the airline industry: the ongoing threat of terrorism, rogue pilots, and the industry’s overall challenges regarding its technical infrastructure and financial health. Still, this helpful guide breaks down and demystifies many of the practical aspects of the miracle of flight.

Reassuring primer that confidently takes flight.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4809-1234-2

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co.

Review Posted Online: July 27, 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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