Inspirational, life-affirming, and infectiously exuberant.




A self-help work that offers a lively discourse on freedom of choice.

Hypnotherapist Litt makes a compelling case for self-determination in this debut work, suggesting that “you can change yourself and anything in your life that you want to.” In prose that’s both conversational and forceful, she asks such provocative questions as “Are you ready to wake up and become your own observer?” and “Are you ready to give yourself permission to be happy?” Answering these and similar queries requires self-assessment and introspection, but the author aims to assist readers by offering examples from her own life and practice, tendering compassionate, useful advice. Although much of the subject matter here is common in self-improvement books, the manner in which Litt packages the material is intriguingly different. She organizes the work into eight chapters, each representing a life choice. In a chapter on human thought, for instance, she discusses the concept of “mastering your mind,” and she includes helpful visuals of “thought loops,” depicting the decision-making thought process and demonstrating the difference between “an imprisoned mind and an empowered mind.” Another chapter details “Life Suckers”—behaviors that “suck your energy…and keep you away from the profound happiness, joy, and success that you deserve.” Each chapter contains a helpful section titled “The Work,” featuring exercises that often encourage readers to come to terms with their fears and perceived inadequacies. Some of the book’s concepts particularly stand out, such as the notion of “Radical Personal Responsibility,” about which Litt writes, “You are the problem and the solution, the obstacle and the answer, the pain and the relief.” Throughout the work, she engagingly uses such abstract phrases to grab attention and then slyly explains their intended meaning. Overall, Litt shows herself to be an expressive, thoughtful, and candid writer. Her observations on human behavior are penetrating and insightful, and her belief in the human spirit is almost palpable.

Inspirational, life-affirming, and infectiously exuberant.

Pub Date: July 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0400-1

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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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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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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