Love eludes a hapless serial dater desperate to replicate the sparks he experienced as a wide-eyed youngster.
Not many young men would pack up and head for a far-flung honeymoon retreat in the Pacific thinking it might be a good place to find single women. The author attempted it twice. The first time he tagged along with his parents; the second, with another guy in tow. Kotkin plays his stunning ineptitude for laughs, but the joke wears thin as it becomes painfully obvious that there will be no epiphanies in the offing. Instead, the author delivers a string of banal accounts involving mismatched women mostly met online. None of these encounters approaches anything that might be considered wacky or zany (as the title of the book suggests). Among them: dating a deaf woman and discovering that communication was difficult; finding the vapid girl dull; being scared by the angry girl; feeling smothered by the clingy girl. Still, Kotkin persisted with blind dates, speed dates and non-dates. “The one thing I discovered about doing nothing when it came to finding love was that in return nothing happened,” he writes. “Nothing begot nothing. It kind of sucked.” Throughout, the author offers little in the way of self-reflection; instead, he resolved after each fruitless date to take yet another crack at it. The problem is never within, always without—even after one unsatisfied date blasted the author and his "vanilla stories."
A languid love potion best taken in limited doses.
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").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)