An earnest but uneven call to arms for those who need warnings about what they will lose by constantly working.

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THE UNAMERICAN DREAM

A business executive offers a manifesto for corporate chiefs, entrepreneurs, and startup professionals that shows the impact of today’s “hustle culture” on work-life balance.

Hidalgo (Driving Demand, 2015) shares his story of co-founding and growing a marketing business while he neglected his family at home. Eventually, he reached a crossroads where he had to choose to either continue his pursuit of the “American Dream”—expanding his company at the risk of losing his family and marriage—or take a step back and redefine success as it related to his own values. He decided to quit the business he had nurtured for over a decade so he could spend more time with his family. Each chapter of his book challenges business executives to question whether they are sacrificing for their families by working long hours or forcing their loved ones to make sacrifices for them. Questions are included at the end of most sections that entreat readers to engage in self-reflection. They include “What does happiness and joy look like for you?” and “Who are those that are making the sacrifice so you can achieve professionally?” There is an illuminating chapter written by the author’s wife, Susanne, that explains the impact his constant work travel and long hours had on her and their children. The author includes many vivid anecdotes and stories from male business professionals who either decided to step off the corporate ladder to focus on their home lives or were still grappling with how to do so. While the book features some anecdotes about female executives, it would have benefited from more of their stories. On top of striving for work-life balance, they are often expected to organize child care and housekeeping duties. The sincere work ends abruptly after providing a diverse and intriguing collection of corporate profiles.

An earnest but uneven call to arms for those who need warnings about what they will lose by constantly working.

Pub Date: June 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-937985-57-8

Page Count: 200

Publisher: VisumCx

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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