Reinhart (Brother Juniper's Bread Book, not reviewed) is back with philosophical musings and recipes from the California restaurant he and his wife began as members of a Christian order. (He has since sold his interest in Brother Juniper's CafÇ, named after a hapless but generous monk.) His writing is cheerily helpful, and he exhibits a quirky sense of humor in relating episodes like the time he visited Israel with his Jewish father and was expelled from the Mosque of Omar for engaging in prayer. (``Only Muslims may pray here...It is the rules of the management,'' a guard insisted.) Recipes are straight out of the Chez Panisse school—the black-bean chili was inspired by a very similar dish served at San Francisco's top-flight vegetarian restaurant Greens—but Reinhart gives preparations an original spin. A simple mesclun salad is enhanced by fresh herbs and a lemony caper dressing, and hummus gets a lift from freshly toasted sesame seeds pureed with olive oil in place of the usual pre-fab tahini. On the other hand, a heavy dose of buttermilk intended to moisten oversize lemon muffins instead gives them an unbearably acidic taste. Reinhart apparently has the heart of an entrepreneur: He has marketed a bottled barbecue sauce called Holy Smoke and admits to fantasies about ``putting Coke and Pepsi out of business'' with natural brews like root beer made with sarsaparilla and wild cherry bark. Spiritual (not preachy) and sweet (not saccharine).

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1994

ISBN: 0-201-62259-9

Page Count: 243

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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