A clever, broad collection of short, definitive remarks about life, love, and social phenomena.

Reality (can be OK, but mostly it) Bites


A collection of short sayings on a variety of topics, from intelligence and politics to wealth and happiness.

Aphorisms may be a lost art to many people, but Hutchison sees them as a form of twisted insight, marked by surprise, brevity, and philosophical depth. He begins his book with a short history of the aphoristic tradition, and insists that many popular sayings and quotes have been misattributed after passing through the decades from one thinker to the next. He then presents his own collection of brief, crystalized points and questions on a range of subjects. While some are humorous (“Where there’s a will, there’s a lawyer looking for a way”), others hinge on more serious cynicism (“When politicians talk about the ‘greater good,’ they mean good for everybody but you”). Readers who love clever sayings will enjoy the variety in this book, which includes sharp, critical views and universal wisdom. For example, one passage remarks that “[i]t’s never too late to admit you’re wrong, and always too early to insist you’re right.” Moments such as these will give readers a sense of shared dignity and humility, as they implicate not just one type of actor (lawyers or politicians) or one social construct (marriage or politics) but the human race as a whole. It’s in this way that Hutchison captures poignant thoughts that will stick with readers and offer launching points for deeper reflection—a feature of the aphorism that’s most difficult for writers to capture. Although the author does touch on marriage and dating, he does so in a somewhat sharpened, dissecting way, and he often steers away from deeply exploring romantic love. However, readers who enjoy passing along quotes to friends and family will find this collection to be fruitful for conversation and debate.

A clever, broad collection of short, definitive remarks about life, love, and social phenomena.

Pub Date: April 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-887043-90-8

Page Count: 166

Publisher: White River Press

Review Posted Online: April 23, 2015

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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

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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