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Oldie, but Goodie

Posted 13th September 2013 • ArchivePrevious PostNext Post

Just found this lovely review of my Niwaki book, can't resist sharing it...

31 March 2011
Message: Jake,

 I just had to take a moment to send you a note to compliment you on your

fabulous book, "Niwaki: Pruning, Shaping and Training Trees the Japanese

Way".  I am finding this book fascinating, and for many different reasons. 

First, it is incredibly informative, and is exactly what I was interested

in finding for the landscaping I'm working on for my newly purchased

mid-century modern home.  


But more than that, I find your writing style to be incredibly pleasing. 

I'm a Professor of the Arts here at the University of North Texas.  The

stylistic and descriptive choices you make in your prose suggest very

plainly that you have a background in the arts.  It's eloquent without

being stuffy, authoritative without being didactic, and is witty and

charming, all the while holding true to the tradition, rigor, and stricture

of this art (though it seems that the notion of fluidity is really its only



Usually, when I pick up a "how to" book, I brace myself for stilted

writing.  I even can overlook the odd grammatical error or two.  After all,

the "how to" book is utilitarian, not aesthetically intended.  Worse yet,

however, some authors try failingly to impose a style on their writing in

these books that at best comes off as contrived, and at worst, is so silly

it forces me to read the book in short spurts so as to not become the

blind-to-information and quixotically impotent copy editor.  I can't see

the "information" trees for the "horrible writing" forest.  


Such is not the case with this book.  You're a wonderful writer, and I find

myself trusting your knowledge all the more precisely because of the care

that you took with your writing.  Again, you write as though you are

submitting an entry for a exhibition catalog, not a "how to" book.  Thank

you so much for this informative text and for all of the loving research

you've done.  


Now off to prune (hopefully not butcher) my first tree, and learn a few

things in the process.



Jim B


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