A heartening memoir of good food and tough love with a few down-home recipes thrown in.

HUNGRY

WHAT EIGHTY RAVENOUS GUYS TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOVE AND THE POWER OF GOOD FOOD

A memoir of an untrained chef with an English degree who set out to temper bad behavior by serving good food and to change junk-food die-hards into foodies.

When Barnes took a job as a cook for the Alpha Sigma Phi house on the University of Washington campus, she knew “that ‘frat boy’ was shorthand for ‘arrogant, drunk, and disorderly,’ ” but she didn’t know that house chefs were generally glorified warmers of precooked meals. Her new job came with major challenges. The kitchen—with its “archaic gas range,” freezer held together with duct tape and a rat in the pantry—was a nightmare, requiring critter control and rigorous scrubbing and disinfecting. Though frat-house jobs were on the bottom rung of the chef hierarchy, for Barnes, a job in which customers respected her was a dream compared with her stint as a chef for a demanding family or at a cafe, where the health violations were frequently flagrant. At least in the Alpha Sig kitchen, she called the shots—often laced with expletives. When the rowdy, grungy frat-house atmosphere, the guys ignoring her kitchen rules and the uncooperative vendors got to her, she vented. Thankfully, her humor, honesty and a steadfast vision save the book from becoming one long rant. Resistant at first, the guys grew to love her food. Eventually, she gained the respect and friendship of the vendors, and the reputation of her table grew. Sorority girls often raided her pantry for leftovers and left fan notes. The book is as much about nourishment as it is food. Barnes’ affection for the fraternity brothers carries the narrative. It wasn’t all about consuming, it was about connecting,” she writes.

A heartening memoir of good food and tough love with a few down-home recipes thrown in.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4013-2477-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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