A well-curated, if sometimes-repetitive, compilation.




Bornet (Speaking Up For America, 2011, etc.) collects many of the love letters that he exchanged with his late wife during World War II.

This book chronicles a long-distance romance that began blossoming between two young people in 1944. Bornet was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, serving as the fleet air barracks officer at the naval air station in Alameda, California. Beth Winchester was a sorority sister and the senior class president at the University of Nevada, Reno. The two had known each other for only two weeks before they struck up this correspondence, but they’d already seen enough in each other to wonder whether they might be soul mates. Over the course of their communications, the two fostered an intimacy that blossomed into a deep love: “You swept into my life suddenly and altogether without warning,” wrote Bornet to Winchester in the very first letter, dated August 11, 1944. Things moved quickly after that: they were married that December, and by the following May, the young woman wrote a letter back to “a husband whom I adore; and now almost certainly our first child is coming. Surely no child has ever been born with more love behind it than ours will.” Bornet, now 98, collects 153 letters out of the 209 that he and his wife exchanged over a 13-month period, in order to document the evolution of a relationship that would last nearly seven decades. In addition to their romantic content, the letters simultaneously provide an engaging look into the time period that they cover, highlighting the concerns that both civilians and military personnel had for their futures during a war whose outcome was far from certain. The present-day Bornet also helps to guide readers through the exchanges, providing context for different sections, explaining omissions, and giving some background regarding the lives of the two correspondents. There’s a certain redundancy to the letters at times, and on the whole, the book isn’t as gripping as some other collections of wartime missives. But overall, this work gives readers a pleasant, inspirational look at young lovers in a bygone era.

A well-curated, if sometimes-repetitive, compilation.

Pub Date: July 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-692-54372-6

Page Count: 310

Publisher: DVS Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

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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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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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