An instructive, inspirational, and indispensable guide for anyone who tires of lawn care and wants an alternative that could...

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Life After Lawns

8 STEPS FROM GRASS TO A WATERWISE GARDEN

Bogh and Schnetz outline the steps to transform a water-hungry lawn into an inviting, drought-resistant, less-hassle garden.

In light of California’s recent law mandating water conservation as well as the increasing danger that more U.S. and global regions may experience crippling droughts, Bogh and Schnetz’s ecologically responsible book is timely and wise. Though the book advocates a no-lawn approach and highlights plants and soils of the arid West, the authors explain that much of the information regarding water-efficient garden design and planting can be applied to all climate zones. The book takes the novice gardener on a soup-to-nuts journey from methods on how to kill a water-hogging lawn to design choices for creating a lovely outdoor room decorated with stones, tile, and drought-resistant trees and plants. The authors cite some shocking statistics: for U.S. homeowners living in arid regions, 60 to 75 percent of their household water is used for watering lawns, and 25 million acres of lawn is tended to by U.S. residents at an annual cost of $6.4 billion. Their well-organized guide begins with some basic FAQs about designing, developing, and maintaining a no-grass yard. From there, the book offers a comprehensive description, in helpful detail and with color photos, of steps necessary to complete the project. Other topics include envisioning a “paradise garden,” finding landscaping professionals, hiring contractors, acquiring necessary permits, soil and composting, irrigation techniques, choosing trees and plants, and pruning strategies. Wonderful resources, including a large list of gardening websites, close out the index. The book’s visual layout is also appealing, with plenty of color photos providing fine support as well as inspiration for design ideas. Brief, practical tips dot the text, as do lyrical observations about nature and gardens from writers such as Stanley Kunitz and Wendell Berry. The authors strike a perfect tone between deliberate planning and following your heart, experimenting with textures and colors and developing a green thumb through some trial and error.

An instructive, inspirational, and indispensable guide for anyone who tires of lawn care and wants an alternative that could help mother earth.

Pub Date: July 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4929-5510-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2015

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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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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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