Not the only Beatles book you’ll ever need, but entertaining nonetheless.




A nearly exhaustive chronicle of the Fab Four.

Ostensibly the “only Beatles book that you’ll ever need,” the necessity–not to mention entertainment value–of this massive tome may be questionable. Mercifully, however, only the first third is devoted to a diary of daily events; the remainder is an alphabetized song list and chronological discography. Cross’s hip, lively narrative–“August 7, 1957: The Quarrymen’s debut at the Cavern Club. Paul couldn’t make it because he was away at scout camp (not very rock ‘n’ roll!)…The club’s clientele at that time was mainly posh jazz kids come to listen to the shitty bebop”–captures the innocent spirit of the band’s rise to superstardom. Because the narrative avoids pedantic historical contextualization, the reader is just as bewildered as the band at the sudden and abrupt eruption of Beatlemania. (Among other perils of celebrity, the Beatles get pelted by stinging jellybeans at concerts.) The lack of context, however, does make it difficult to understand the circumstances behind the Beatles’s meteoric rise to fame. Was the shift away from sugary pop, and toward more expansive, meditative music, precipitated by John Lennon’s purchase of Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience at the Indica bookshop in March 1966? Or perhaps by their first experience with marijuana, smoked with Bob Dylan on August 28, 1964? As for the beginning of the end, signs of strain began well before 1970–Yoko Ono’s conquest of Lennon, McCartney’s bossiness, Lennon’s heroin addiction, business conflicts with manager Allen Klein–but Cross wisely refrains from passing judgment on the definitive cause of the breakup.

Not the only Beatles book you’ll ever need, but entertaining nonetheless.

Pub Date: May 14, 2005

ISBN: 0-595-34663-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2010

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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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