A gutsy, nuts-and-bolts account of one man’s valiant struggle against the odds.




A debut memoir focuses on a man determined to live life to the fullest while in the grips of a ravaging disease.

Darren Cosentino was a man of action. He was winning praise at his construction job by age 11; the next year, he ran his first half-marathon. Later married to a wife he adored, beloved by his community, and enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, Darren had every reason to appreciate life and to crave more of it. He was—in his own telling and the recollections of his wife, Sara Cosentino—an active man: “I go to hot yoga five times a week and I swim in the lake every day during the summer. I paddleboard, fish, hunt, and travel.” By 37, he firmly believed the wonderful life he enjoyed would run along smoothly for decades more. Until, following a bad trip to Club Med in Cancún, Mexico, full of stomach pain and a routine surgery to remove what doctors assumed was a benign obstruction, Darren was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. He was told he’d have to receive chemotherapy for the rest of his days. At best, doctors could get him two more years. Shocked, Darren quickly decided to make the most of whatever moments he had left. Between rigorous chemotherapy sessions, he found time for scuba diving, traveling abroad, and meeting good friends. Just when readers will begin to worry that Darren’s coming across as implausibly superhuman, he drops his voice to confide the sort of thing other patients may well need to hear: “I was ashamed to tell people that I had cancer and ashamed for feeling ashamed.” This poignant memoir—which includes family photographs—shows that Darren was serious about the treatment he underwent. He describes the ordeal lucidly and with enough useful details to make this work something of a handbook for other sufferers. Even in extremis, as Sara recounts, “instead of getting angry or remorseful, he welcomed visitors and fought each new symptom.” Readers will likely see Darren as the inspiration he obviously was in life, and his absorbing story should help them take heart.

A gutsy, nuts-and-bolts account of one man’s valiant struggle against the odds.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5255-0886-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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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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