Chatty, enthusiastic and at times rambling, Rose is a welcoming guide on her latest journey of literary discovery.




A year of reading randomly.

In another literary memoir, Rose (The Year of Reading Proust, 1997, etc.) chronicles the year she spent reading 23 works of fiction on a shelf designated LEQ to LES at the New York Society Library in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Although she had no expectations about the quality of the books on this particular shelf, the project excited her: “[N]no one in the history of the world had read exactly this series of novels,” she writes. It seemed like an adventure in “Extreme Reading. To go where no one had gone before.” She chose the shelf on the basis of a few self-imposed rules: Several authors needed to appear, and only one could have more than five books, of which she would read three; there would be both contemporary and older works; one book needed to be a classic that she had always wanted to read. Describing her project as “organic…like a travel journal,” Rose uses each book to take her down unexpected paths: Reading Nabokov’s translation of Mikhail Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time (the classic she meant to read) sent her to read several other translations in an effort to connect with a story she found, at first, stilted. Rhoda Lerman’s Call Me Ishtar and several other novels inspired Rose to herself contact Lerman, with whom she felt such an “instant rapport” that the two became friends. Noting that her shelf contained works of only three women, Rose pauses in one chapter to ask about the challenges and preoccupations of women writers. Lisa Lerner’s unsettling science fiction, Just Like Beauty, led Rose to track down the author, who, like Lerman, is now a friend. Using websites and Facebook, Rose experienced “the fun of participating in a virtual conversation about literature at any moment of the day or night.”

Chatty, enthusiastic and at times rambling, Rose is a welcoming guide on her latest journey of literary discovery.

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-26120-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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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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