A self-described “former fat guy” pilots Generation Facebook through the rough sea of love and sex.

Blogger Greenspan mines his own dating pratfalls and triumphs to produce an array of lists to help the uninitiated, or the inept, snare that special someone. The guide takes the shape of the author’s popular website 11points.com, covering essential territory such as how to know if he/she is really into you and the best and worst places to meet someone (the Internet is good, jury duty is bad). The author tackles sensitive subject matter with pragmatic indelicacy, providing useful chestnuts on how to keep a booty call from getting “messy,” and reveals secrets for taking “amazing” nude photographs. Hint: Don't eat on shoot day, and get “very” aggressive on your blemishes, he writes. “The most important reason to fix all this stuff is because you must be confident for the photos. If you're embarrassed or (overly) self conscious and holding back, it'll show.” The author's everyman quality is his best asset, connecting to the reader through a watered-down cocktail of confession, sarcasm and pop-culture references. After all, recognizing the animated series Voltron and Screech from Saved by the Bell is critical to the author’s mission. Hilarity is missing, but sincerity abounds.


Pub Date: April 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-61608-212-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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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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