ITALIAN, MY WAY

California meets Italy in this fresh, accessible take on America’s favorite ethnic cuisines.

Waxman (A Great American Cook, 2007), chef-owner of the Manhattan restaurant Barbuto, offers recipes that rely not on shortcuts but on maximizing flavor using a limited number of ingredients. There has been no shortage of Italian cookbooks by star chefs, but Waxman focuses on seasonal ingredients and straightforward recipes broken down by course. Traditional offerings like pizza and pasta are here, but the author’s California roots appear in dishes like "Raw Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Toasted Walnuts," a delightful blend of tartness and crunch. Waxman usually avoids hard-to-find ingredients, but he occasionally suggests a pricier alternative to the supermarket brand—no doubt the Brussels sprouts would taste even better with a Napa Valley or Ligurian olive oil, as Waxman recommends. Fortunately, the author provides an index with a list of relevant websites for rarer ingredients. The index also includes a helpful glossary of terms and a list of equipment that every "simple" kitchen should have, although home cooks may question the necessity of items like a Japanese mandolin or a French fish knife. Waxman contextualizes each dish by offering background notes that include the recipe’s origins or cooking tips. Simple yet not simplistic—a welcome introduction for home cooks to the seasonal flavors of Italian cuisine.

 

Pub Date: April 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4165-9431-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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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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