A compelling case for an unorthodox solution to a widespread health care problem.

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THE KIDNEY SELLERS

A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY IN IRAN

Fry-Revere (The Accountability of Bioethics Committees and Consultants, 1993), the founder of a nonprofit bioethics think tank, goes to Iran to study the effects of legalizing compensation for organ donors.

Many Westerners may be shocked to learn that, as untold thousands of Americans die while waiting to receive donated organs, Iran has so many people who want to sell their kidneys that they must get on a waiting list. Fry-Revere, the founder of the U.S.-based Center for Ethical Solutions, writes that “the United States is struggling with a problem Iran seems to have solved.” Her book aims to provide readers with “insights into the ethical complexities of living organ donation.” The book is partly a scholarly study of organ donation, partly a humorous personal history, and partly a poignant, in-depth look at Iran, following the author as she recounts her trip there and the emotional transformation she underwent. The author has impressive academic credentials, including teaching bioethics and law at the University of Virginia and George Mason University, but she’s also passionately connected to this book’s issue, which has affected her personally; her son lost a kidney to cancer at a young age. Her narration proves more than capable, as her intelligence and intriguing ethical sense bring her sentences to life. She also adds personal touches; in one paragraph, she describes U.S. State Department travel warnings regarding Iran, and in the next, she relates a nightmare she had, caused by these warnings. Throughout the book, however, kidney donation remains the central focus. She interviews Iranians who sold their kidneys so they could help their families while saving a life at the same time. The issue of economic injustice soon comes into play; Fry-Revere says that some people balk at the idea of selling human organs, believing that “the United States and other countries took a stand against exploiting the poor.” Her subject matter may be somewhat controversial, but her analysis is undeniably worth reading.

A compelling case for an unorthodox solution to a widespread health care problem.

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61163-512-6

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Carolina Academic Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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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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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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