Criscuolo, owner since 1975 of a vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, Conn., has waited too long to put out this cookbook, and that is both compliment and criticism. Criscuolo herself notes in an introduction that while Middle Eastern and Mexican foods were mostly unknown when she began serving them, ``now they're on menus everywhere.'' Exactly—and they're in cookbooks everywhere, too. However, this collection does offer solid recipes for some vegetarian favorites, and Criscuolo takes a pleasant tone: friendly and never condescending (``A good store bought pastry is fine,'' she writes reassuringly in a recipe for escarole pie). While one chapter is devoted to Mexican specialties, the strongest influence here is Italian, thanks to Criscuolo's roots on New Haven's Wooster Street—an Italian-American neighborhood—and her mother, who ``always had a pot of soup going.'' Soups and baked goods are particularly strong. A chapter on the former includes myriad creative vegetable and bean soups, including a spicy pasta-and-bean soup with a porridge-like consistency. A section on breakfast provides several good muffin options, like surprisingly moist bran- apple muffins (Criscuolo does not eschew refined sugar and white flour, so the muffins have no heavy health-food feel). Occasionally, it becomes obvious that these recipes were developed in a restaurant and not in a home kitchen. When fried over medium- low heat in a scanty half cup of oil as instructed, the zesty batter for zucchini fritters turned mushy on the outside and remained raw on the inside. On an industrial stove, results would likely have been crispier. Nostalgia food for aging hippies and homesick Yalies.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-452-27176-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Plume

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1994

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet