The ongoing drama of Rehak’s picky-eater son offers anecdotal entertainment, but the stakes are too insubstantial to qualify...

EATING FOR BEGINNERS

AN EDUCATION IN THE PLEASURES OF FOOD FROM CHEFS, FARMERS, AND ONE PICKY KID

A sanguine account of the year Rehak (Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, 2005) spent immersed in local food production.

To give herself a crash-course culinary education in what to feed her one-year-old son, Jules, the author volunteered to work in the kitchen of a small Brooklyn restaurant, “applewood.” She wanted to think more about the food she ate but felt overwhelmed by the amount of information in books, newspapers and foodie magazines. Her yearlong endeavors to form her own ideas on the subject include picking vegetables at an upstate farm, making cheese, packing and delivering produce in the middle of the night, milking goats and sea-fishing. The bulk of the narrative unfolds at applewood during ten-hour shifts spent cooking, chopping, flipping, prepping, baking and studying the restaurant’s two owners, David and Laura Shea. Rehak’s conclusions—that “we should eat as locally as possible, we should support small farms”—are ones she grasped at the project’s outset, but she hadn’t understood the reasons why these truths are so important. Included in the book are recipes, and she quotes liberally from authors as varied as Wendell Berry, Emily Dickinson and James Joyce. Rehak doesn’t lack inspiration, and her subject is laudable. However, with so many books covering the same topic, she could use a more dynamic angle, opting to focus more on the personal side of her story. She spends countless hours with people in the food business, affirming the argument for supporting local and organic farmers and butchers, but not a single voice in these pages articulates a different view. Consequently, readers are taught the same lesson in each chapter, from cheese to fish to desserts.

The ongoing drama of Rehak’s picky-eater son offers anecdotal entertainment, but the stakes are too insubstantial to qualify as gripping, no matter how enthusiastic the author.

Pub Date: July 8, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-15-101437-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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