Wistful and witty personal essays; best enjoyed in nibbles.

TIME PIECES 2

AN INFORMAL MEMOIR

In this sequel, a writer shares a collection of random memories spanning several decades—simple yet special moments that still tickle his brain and send his fingers to the keyboard.

Lubow (Time Pieces, 2016, etc.) grew up in Chicago in the 1940s and ’50s. For most of his professional life, he worked in advertising, eventually opening his own successful agency in the Windy City. And it is with an adman’s skill that he distills the small events of his life to their sensory core. In this collection of essays ranging in length from one paragraph to no more than three or four pages, he shares his joys, gripes, and occasional bits of wisdom through reflections on things as poignant as his grandfather dying suddenly in front of him when he was 5 years old, and as ordinary as a bowl of “Cheerios with real milk and sugar. Yeah...” A piece entitled “1957” is a nostalgic riff on what was for the author a perfect time and place, before cellphones, passwords, and internet slang. “I don’t need air conditioning, don’t like seatbelts or the underpowered cars of today,” he tells readers. “I was fine with life as I personally knew it in 1957. Would I go back? In a flash.” There’s plenty of soft-edged humor, but Lubow’s clever essays also reveal a sense of melancholy: “I wondered recently about the certain low-level of insecurity many of us live with, and this seems to be more pronounced as we get older, especially if we’re loners….Maybe it’s time to take something for the chronic itch of insecurity that seems here to stay.” Most of the pieces are lighthearted—wonderful stories from the author’s days as an adman and essays that explore his love of words in all their varied contexts, including an overly long description of his passion for crossword puzzles. And in “The anti-gourmet of today.,” he admits, with self-deprecating humor, to a wide range of quirky food preferences, unusual culinary combinations that indeed sound rather unsavory.

Wistful and witty personal essays; best enjoyed in nibbles.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-70163-988-1

Page Count: 141

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

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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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