Short, true accounts set largely in the kitchen and populated by rich, opinionated characters with formidable cooking skills.

READ REVIEW

CRAZY FOR ITALIAN FOOD

PERDUTAMENTE; A MEMOIR OF FAMILY, FOOD, AND PLACE WITH RECIPES

Famularo’s (Viva La Cucina Italiana, 2012, etc.) debut memoir uses family recipes as a paean to the culture—and kitchens—that shaped his childhood.

The life of a first-generation Italian immigrant in New York City emerges slowly from this series of loosely connected vignettes, each providing another insight into the author. Sometimes the subject matter is light—the malapropisms of Famularo’s mother, the way she rolls and cuts her own pasta, or his brother’s choice of girlfriends. But this is no soppy memoir. It begins in the gap between the two world wars, following a loose chronology until Famularo and a friend trek to postwar Italy to visit his mother’s home village of Accettura, bearing gifts of chocolate, cigarettes and coffee. “I feel we forget about the food that grounds us,” Famularo writes. But it’s obvious that it’s not just the food that binds his family together, stretched as they are across both the East Coast and the ocean. It’s the process of making the meals—the love, the caring, the competition and the gossip that goes into it. Famularo’s sketches have no unifying plot or tension, but each stands on its own as a full chapter, punctuated by recipes—pleasant rambles through kitchens strewn with drying sausages, basements filled with jars of homemade tomato sauce and the iconic ethnic businesses found down the street. Through it all, eating is the family’s conduit to understanding and participating in the world around them. As Famularo writes of his father’s aunt, “As you entered her kitchen door, she would go to the ice-a-box, open the door slowly, dramatically, with a smile and say, ‘C’e tutta cosa—tutta’ (There is everything here—everything).” By sharing not only his family’s recipes, but the stories behind them, he invites readers into the fold.

Short, true accounts set largely in the kitchen and populated by rich, opinionated characters with formidable cooking skills.

Pub Date: June 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-1479790715

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 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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