A literary trek across the culinary landscape pairing bountiful delights with plenty of substantive tidbits.

READ REVIEW

BEST FOOD WRITING 2013

Longtime editor Hughes once again compiles a tasty collection of culinary essays for those who love to eat, cook and read about food.

“With such an insatiable audience,” she writes in her introduction, “there are more outlets for food writing than ever, in print and on-line and on the airwaves. It’s an embarrassment of riches, not unlike those overstuffed CSA bags of produce.” Hughes scoured bookstores, magazines, newspapers, newsletters and websites, including GQ, the New York TimesEdible San Francisco, the Chicago ReaderTin HouseFire and KnivesGraze and GiltTaste.com before selecting the essays included here. Together, they represent the diverse tastes, quirks and passions of America’s burgeoning food culture. Organized within categories such as The Way We Eat Now, Farm to Table, The Meat of the Matter, Home Cooking and To Be a Chef, the essays surprise, educate and highlight the trends within the food movement. A short sampling includes: the merits of seasonal eating; celebrating Thanksgiving on the Chesapeake Bay; how saying grace can offer a different take on a meal; the rigors of tossing pizza; how to make real New England clam chowder; food trucks in Hawaii; the Southern pleasure of combining cola and salted peanuts; and the demise of Hostess Bakeries. Michael Pollan opines on the chemistry and heavenly benefits achieved while sautéing aromatic vegetables. Investigative journalist Tracie McMillan explores the stories we tell ourselves about the joys of home cooking. Houston Press writer Katharine Shilcutt bemoans America’s industrialized agriculture and food production systems and deconstructs her first taste of a McDonald’s McRib sandwich. “I felt so hollow afterward,” she writes, “that it was as if my stomach had shifted outside my body, as though my abdominal cavity was rejecting it in shame.” Other contributors include Edward Behr, Gabrielle Hamilton, Rowan Jacobsen and Eddie Huang.

A literary trek across the culinary landscape pairing bountiful delights with plenty of substantive tidbits.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7382-1716-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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