Sarton died in July at the age of 83, less than a year after the last entry in this journal where she both anticipated death and celebrated life with the keen and unflinching perception that is Sarton at her best. A poet, novelist, and chronicler of her own life—the last via a series of journals that began with the early Journal of a Solitude and continued with Endgame (1992) and Encore (1993)- -Sarton had a devoted and growing readership but, to her sorrow, was not included in the literary canon that welcomed such peers as Elizabeth Bowen and Eudora Welty. That regret surfaces often in the pages of this journal, partly because the year includes foraging through her past on behalf of several biographers as well as publishers in the US, England, and Japan who are reissuing or publishing new collections of her poems. But though Sarton's earlier journals have been criticized for being ``querulous'' and ``cranky,'' At Eighty-Two avoids these pitfalls by adopting a more objective stance than Sarton had previously taken. The subject matter is much the same—``wonderful'' friends, flowers, her cat, the weather, the books she is reading, details of her physical and mental state, what she once called the ``sacramentalization of the ordinary.'' But as with her novels, Sarton now stands slightly outside herself, gaining the leverage to describe her days with compelling integrity. Ongoing depression is managed by a tough discipline that refuses to escape into sleep or sloppy habits, tenderized by the sweet smell of narcissus and the soft purr of her cat at naptime. ``Most of the time I am happy,'' she says. ``Each day I plan something I can look forward to.'' But, she adds later, ``the effort is staggering.'' A resonant reflection on being old and an appropriate legacy for Sarton's many devotees. (photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-393-03889-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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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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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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