A practical, no-fuss guide that should help cooks streamline their kitchens and find solutions to culinary dilemmas.




A manual shows readers how to save money and space by using substitute tools to complete a variety of kitchen tasks.

Cooks with cluttered kitchens, rejoice. They may not need all those single-use gadgets that are taking up valuable space in their drawers and shelves. MacLeod’s (The Waste-Wise Kitchen Companion, 2017, etc.) efficient and detailed A-to-Z reference book outlines numerous substitutions for various kitchen tools, from the everyday (grill tongs stand in for a bottle opener) to the unusual (an electric doughnut cooker replaces an aebleskiver pan for preparing Danish pancakes). The alphabetical organization makes it easy for desperate cooks to discover information in a flash, and many of the suggested substitutes are genuinely clever, such as transforming an open waffle iron covered with heavy-duty aluminum foil into a food warming tray or crafting a DIY fat separator out of an empty yogurt container or freezer bag. MacLeod also provides answers to questions like whether readers can use a slow cooker as a rice cooker or a coffee grinder as a spice mill (yes to both, with some caveats). Bakers should be delighted with the extensive list of baking pan equivalents; also included is a table of volume and liquid measurement equivalents. There’s a “Hints from Heloise” quality to many of the tips, which are likely to spark memories in some readers of common-sense kitchen lessons taught by mothers or grandmothers. The manual also offers an entertaining look at more specialized culinary tools and techniques. Readers may not know what a tava is (it’s a “flat cast-iron pan used for cooking Indian flatbreads”), but it’s nice to know they can utilize a cast-iron griddle or a comal instead. (And if they don’t know what a comal is, there’s an entry for that, too.) On the other hand, a few recommendations are so obvious that it’s hard to imagine they need mentioning, but anyone befuddled by the lack of a plastic bag clip will likely be glad to learn that it’s OK to employ a clothespin or a binder clip to keep chips from getting stale.

A practical, no-fuss guide that should help cooks streamline their kitchens and find solutions to culinary dilemmas.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9974464-3-2

Page Count: 262

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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