SAVORY STEWS

Burdick adds to his homey oeuvre (French Cooking en Famille, not reviewed) with this collection of warm, filling meals. Okay, some of them do not exactly qualify as stews per se (Burdick's own definition of a stew as ``any dish in which solids are slowly simmered in liquid until they are tender'' is debatable). But who could argue against the inclusion of Swordfish Steaks Provenáale, which are braised in a mixture that contains almost every imaginable flavor—from capers to red wine to olives—but somehow manages to combine them into an earthy sauce with great depth? Recipes are divided by contents (beef, seafood, etc.), but not all the vegetable stews are vegetarian, since they—and many other dishes—use ham or bacon for seasoning. An exception is the outstanding Greek-style Lima Bean Stew infused with the flavor of sautÇed vegetables. Dishes are international in origin, and Burdick provides healthy-sized headnotes that are full of tips and draw on his own personal eating experiences, from his first visit to the city of Nice to his acquaintance with a former slave named Aunt Harriet. Despite Burdick's claim that he has attempted to reduce the fat in these recipes whenever possible, he occasionally has a heavy hand with butter and cream, as in a delicious stewed fruit compote that is dotted with an entire stick of butter before being baked under a custard. Still, with recipes this inspired, all is forgiven. Sumptuous antidotes to winter, but you'll crave them year- round. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-449-90545-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1994

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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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