A long ride on a dirt bike, on the mild side as often as the wild.

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LOIS ON THE LOOSE

ONE WOMAN, ONE MOTORCYCLE, 20,000 MILES ACROSS THE AMERICAS

Another spunky gal takes things in hand and becomes empowered, this time astride a small Yamaha motorcycle with cell phone and e-mail ever at the ready.

Fresh from a desultory job at the BBC in London, Pryce carried on at 55 m.p.h., down the length of the Western Hemisphere from Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego. The tale of her nine-month trek has all the requisite road-trip ingredients: big bugs, bad food and lots of dirt. Indomitable Lois tells of venal bureaucrats, prepubescent border guards, good-looking biker guys and severe digestive distress. She tented in the wild Yukon and rode down the AlCan and Pacific Coast Highways, pausing for a visit with friends to a cheesy L.A. strip club. Pidgin Spanish, icky tacos and insects in the domain of Subcomandante Marcos marked the next leg of her trip, down the Pan-American Highway. Journeying through Central America, across the isthmus and on to South America, she encountered thieves, fixers and tatty digs, petty corruption and jolly drinkers. Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, the winds of Patagonia and all the rugged landscapes were fine settings for the cycling hijinks—and for an unpleasant companion’s nasty crash. Pryce also recalls some of the square-jawed natives along her way, including the sexy repair guys of the Andes. After a bit of pizza in the New World’s southernmost city, it’s back to London and propriety. And so we bid farewell to the rapture of the open road celebrated so cheerfully in this biker sitcom by a young woman who declares her “obsession with all things noisy, greasy and rockin’.”

A long ride on a dirt bike, on the mild side as often as the wild.

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-312-35221-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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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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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

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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