Ghiglieri—ecologist, white-water guide, author of East of the Mountains of the Moon (1988)—provides a mile-by-mile tour of the wonders of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River—a grab-bag of the sort of historical, geological, political, and anecdotal tidbits he apparently offers his white-watering guests, and a definitive source book for those who decide to take the challenge. Adrenaline Alley, Crystal Rapid, Soap Creek, Lava Canyon—the picturesque names of these spectacular Grand Canyon geological formations offer a hint as to why Ghiglieri claims to consider the Canyon his personal ``sacred ground.'' Now an experienced guide who, when not pursuing scientific research projects in other parts of the world, takes boatloads of visitors down roller-coasterlike chutes, drops, and currents, Ghiglieri has settled down long enough to write the type of Grand Canyon guidebook that he claims he always wished he could find. Taking the reader along on an imaginary white-water journey, the author intersperses accounts of experiences he's had along the trail (hiking with flight attendants who insist on photographing one another naked on the cliffs; interrupting a tour to greet his first child, born in nearby Flagstaff and named, naturally, ``Cliff'') with passionate diatribes on the politics of water supply and its effect on the Colorado; evocations of the lives of the Anasazi Indians, whose centuries-old abandoned villages still dot the Canyon; and an insider's description of the cliffs, valleys, and hiking trails that line the river. Though Ghiglieri's enthusiasm and concern for the Canyon and its future are obvious throughout, his workmanlike prose may serve less to transport readers than to inspire potential adventurers to join him there. (Map.)

Pub Date: April 14, 1992

ISBN: 0-8165-1258-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Univ. of Arizona

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1992

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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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