Good fun for gastronomists and travel buffs alike.




Delectable account of how an ex-lawyer took up truffle hunting in Provence after fleeing the drudgery of an office job in England.

Ivey and his wife left London “determined to experience a better quality of life” in rural France. Together, they built a wine business and dreamed of the seemingly impossible: owning a home in a place where only rich Parisians and celebrities like “Brad and Angelina” could even consider buying property. After a real estate agent showed them an affordable piece of land that came with its own oak tree truffle patch, the couple knew they had come home at last. The cat-loving Ivey then began his search for a “hypoallergenic” canine that he could train to be a champion truffle sniffer and good family pet. That quest led him to Snuffle, a petit chien lion puppy that his wife was convinced looked more like a rug than a dog. As Ivey and his equally cat-loving wife began to adjust to life as canine owners, they faced a string of house-building challenges, from financing to construction, since both were outsiders to the closed world of the Provençaux. Even Snuffle seemed reluctant to cooperate when his master began training him to become a truffle dog. The more Ivey became involved in the hunt for “black diamonds,” the more he bore witness to the back-stabbing, secretive and sometimes even deadly world of trufficulture. Despite the many frustrations and frequent encounters with sometimes-bewildering behaviors and customs, Ivey and his wife both emerged wiser about human nature and happily endowed with a home and truffles to spare.

Good fun for gastronomists and travel buffs alike.

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62087-635-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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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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