It’s not perfect, but this poignant memoir will motivate even the most disenchanted reader.




Despite a troubled childhood, numerous career setbacks and a life-threatening health problem, a determined woman never gives up in this inspiring memoir.

From the outside it appears that Ginac and her husband Frank are living the American Dream—they live in a million-dollar home in Austin, Texas, have high-paying careers that afford them every luxury and have a much loved 5-year-old son. But shortly after Frank unexpectedly leaves his job, Linda is shocked to learn that she’s a casualty of massive layoffs, and so starts the long struggle for Linda and Frank to re-establish stability in their usually idyllic world. As the Ginac family tries to rebuild their life during one of the worst economic downturns imaginable, Linda recovers from a miscarriage, builds a new business from the ground up and defeats breast cancer. As she overcomes each obstacle, Linda realizes that her husband is truly her biggest supporter and that with him by her side she can conquer anything life throws at her. Ginac’s memoir is brutally honest and remarkably inspiring. While some will find much of the author’s interminable detail unnecessary and occasionally tedious, Ginac’s sincerity makes up for her deliberate style. The author’s penchant for spending money and her admitted lack of frugality will not resonate well with some readers, especially those who are still experiencing the worst that the current economy has to offer. But those who can look past Ginac’s shortcomings will find themselves awed by her candor and vulnerability. The author does not gloss over her often unrealistic expectations of her husband, nor does she sugarcoat her imperfect marriage. Instead, she portrays her struggles in a way that allows readers to sympathize with and relate to her. Readers who pick up this book will find their inadequacies and insecurities reflected in Ginac, and will ultimately be moved by her determination to succeed.

It’s not perfect, but this poignant memoir will motivate even the most disenchanted reader.

Pub Date: June 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-0983456100

Page Count: 270

Publisher: The Ginac Group

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

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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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