In this sturdy collection, men and women removed from society face nature at its most primordial.




An eclectic, at times gripping anthology of adventure writing, featuring mostly Americans and Western Europeans in search of danger and excitement.

Willis (Epic, not reviewed) has culled 13 stories of survival and exploration from a variety of diverse sources, including books, Web sites, and periodicals. From Edward Marriott’s story of shark fishing in Nicaragua with local residents, to A Rumor of War author Philip Caputo’s safari to view the Tsavo lions of The Ghost and the Darkness fame, to renowned adventurer Reinhold Messner’s run-in with the mythical Yeti in Tibet, heart-pounding moments come fast and furious. Admittedly, some pieces fall short; among the particularly disappointing entries are Val Plumwood’s story of surviving a crocodile attack (overshadowed by a rambling diatribe on “ecofeminism”) and Sy Montgomery’s anticlimactic tale of studying dolphins and encountering death in the form of a local boy’s drowning on the Amazon River. However, armchair explorers will revel in accounts such as that of Rolf Potts’s trek by foot into the Libyan Desert or the heroic rescue efforts undertaken in the 1996–97 Vende Globe sailing race, chronicled here by Derek Lundy. Stories of the struggle for survival at sea are further represented by Michael Finkel’s account of a shared passage with Haitians bound by ship for the US, as well as a dramatic recounting by Neil Hanson of the infamous late-19th-century shipwreck of the Mignonette and the horrible choice that its crew made to survive.

In this sturdy collection, men and women removed from society face nature at its most primordial.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56025-299-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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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.


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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