Anyone who is a fan of E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web or who is interested in the writing process will find the long, detailed sections describing its creation fascinating. While I usually enjoy learning about the inspiration behind works of literature this account had too much minutiae for me. There were other parts of the book, however, that I found a lot more engrossing. I loved reading about life in the northeastern US during the early years of the last century, when automobiles were replacing horse-drawn vehicles and White’s father proudly bought a car but never learned to drive it, when a fancy teenage date meant an afternoon of tea, cinnamon toast and dancing at the Plaza Hotel, and when people flocked to the new Childs restaurants because they were inexpensive, fast and, at a time when people were newly afraid of germs, gleamingly clean. It was also a revelation to read about the early days of The New Yorker from E.B. White’s quiet, quirky perspective—most of the other accounts I’ve come across have been in books about the rowdy members of the Algonquin Round Table.