Simple instructions for how to make the household apron fit the frame of your life.

Proving that you don’t need fancy equipment or a doctorate degree in home economics to be a successful homemaker, Payne gives easy-to-follow advice. This eclectic, if sometimes dry, guide is a starting point for anyone struggling as a homemaker. The author shows how home décor can be both practical and economical when you rediscover the versatility of common household items, such as mason jars and clothespins. Cleaning does not have to be stressful, costly or dangerous when you are armed with confidence, knowledge and basic products like vinegar, baking soda and salt. Dining in is as exciting as going to a fancy restaurant when you are not afraid to undertake new endeavors such as canning, baking and entertaining. Payne discusses how she was able to feed eight guests a three-course meal for $70. She provides essential household survival lists such as a basic tool kit, which she hopes will encourage “creative problem solving, helping you to conjure up your inner Girl or Boy Scout.” The author expands outside of the confines of the house and into the garden with tips that can be useful even if you don’t have the space or patience to cultivate. With a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt—“You must do the thing you think you cannot do”—Payne effectively summarizes her own approach to homemaking. Useful dos and don’ts for the domestically disabled.


Pub Date: April 19, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-201470-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper Design

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet