A heartfelt tribute to animals and their extraordinary ability to love, learn, and teach.




A memoir by novelist Rose (Body Sharer’s, 1993) of the dogs she has known and loved—a celebration both of the animals themselves and of the lessons she learned from them.

As a child, Rose’s religious faith was shaken when the minister at her church told her that animals had no souls—an attitude that seemed to mock the love she felt for her fox terrier, Patches. A neighborhood character, Patches was only interested in Rose if she was “doing something new with her like teaching her to climb trees.” A deeply religious and thoughtful child, Rose felt she couldn’t love a God who didn’t love all creation, and her spiritual journey (she eventually became a Catholic) intensified after her marriage, when she and her husband acquired a border collie they named Kierney. Extremely high-strung and emotionally dependent on Rose, Kierney was also remarkably intelligent. She had a “vocabulary” of about 130 words (e.g., when told that her ball was in the bedroom, she’d head there directly), but she remained extremely insecure. She bit strangers and even attacked Rose (who was pregnant at the time). Worried, Rose took Kierney to a notoriously harsh obedience class, and for a while thereafter everything seemed okay. Six months after Rose’s daughter was born, however, Kierney began to experience epileptic seizures with increasing frequency, and barely two years later she died in Rose’s arms at the vet’s office. The finality of her death made Rose question the meaning of life even more, as she felt the “wind of universal malevolence.” Eventually, however, she acquired two other border collies, who also had a remarkable knack for understanding human speech. The author goes so far as to conclude that language itself may be God, insofar as it enables us to break down the bonds of individuality.

A heartfelt tribute to animals and their extraordinary ability to love, learn, and teach.

Pub Date: July 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-609-60692-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2001

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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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