A welcome addition to the library of books for car buffs—but also to that for art students looking for models of industrial...




The history of the first generations of automobiles comes to life in popular advertising images, all clean lines and purring motors to set a collector’s heart to pounding.

Texas artist Harter (Early Farm Tractors: A History in Advertising Line Art, 2013, etc.), whose interests range from country rock music to early railroads, is clearly a close student of whatever takes his fancy. The text that opens this collection of images, just a few dozen pages in length, is wide-ranging and very nearly comprehensive, taking into account not just the technological advances from the first horseless carriages to the late 1920s, but also the players and the politics within the industry. As he notes, in 1903, an Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers was formed to secure a patent on the electric vehicle and to regulate the making of gasoline cars, an effort that found both Henry Ford and Ransom Olds edged out of the market. That resulted in both a long lawsuit and the decline of the electric vehicle, which took nearly a century to be revived. In much the same way, writes Harter, Chevrolet was almost axed early in its history, saved only when GM president Alfred P. Sloan “argued for saving it, as it was essential that GM offer a mass market car.” Production thus quadrupled within a few years in the mid-1920s. The bulk of the volume, though, is given over to advertising line art that Harter has chased down from various contemporary sources. This collection, comprising hundreds of mostly photoengraved images, has much value as clip art. There is a certain sameness to the drawings owing to the physical restrictions of the form, but each shows a great deal of detail and much of the dynamism of those early vehicles.

A welcome addition to the library of books for car buffs—but also to that for art students looking for models of industrial design–centered imagery.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60940-489-5

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Wings Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2016

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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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