An inspirational manual designed to make seniors’ last years their best ones.




Physician and Boomer Institute founder Courter, in his debut, offers a general self-help book for seniors.

The author crafted this guide, he writes, in order to help enhance the quality of life of millions of aging baby boomers. Drawing on years of medical experience, he addresses several key areas, including emotional and physical health and activity; mental focus and spirituality; and new habits to redefine and revitalize the self. Many people see one’s golden years as a time of deteriorating health and alienation from society, and some retirees with depleted pensions have been forced to return to work to make ends meet. However, the author views life’s last trimester as an opportunity to embrace a holistic lifestyle. His suggestions include exercising with weights, eating more plant-based foods and avoiding genetically modified organisms, taking probiotics to improve one’s mood, and drinking hot water or tea to cleanse one’s system. He even suggests expanding one’s vocabulary and writing a memoir. Establishing new habits, and thus creating new neural pathways, he asserts, can lead to greater happiness and a renewed sense of purpose. Although self-help books for the elderly abound, few comprehensively cover their myriad concerns as well as Courter’s guide does. Informative, user-friendly and brimming with advice, its tone is neither preachy nor condescending. Appropriately, the author relates his own experiences, including a notable golf story, with compassion and humility, and his upbeat, enthusiastic approach may persuade many readers to see their circumstances in a more positive light. However, although the book briefly mentions the subject of sexual dysfunction, it doesn’t adequately explore sexuality in the senior years. It also occasionally provides unclear statistics, as when it claims that two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight and one-third is obese; is no one underweight or at the ideal weight? However, these are minor quibbles given the abundance of worthwhile information here.

An inspirational manual designed to make seniors’ last years their best ones.

Pub Date: June 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0988854208

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Boomer Health Institute

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

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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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