It probably helps to know a little Yiddish to extract maximum enjoyment from "Born to Kvetch," but even readers with minimal "bacon Yiddish" ("schlep," "schmear," "maven" and the like) can appreciate vocabulary words like "kishke-gelt" (literally "gut money," earned by self-deprivation so extreme that it's ripped from the intestines) and expressions like "lakhn mit yashtsherkes," which means "laugh with the lizards" and refers to a bitter kind of jollity, the kind of laughter that keeps you from crying.
William Grimes, The New York Times, 28 September 2005, New York Times
reviewing Michael Wex's Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods.
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Friedman, whose topical caricatures are frequently published on the front page of The New York Observer, is a maven for capturing ultrarealistic details — down to the minutest, seemingly insignificant freckle.
Steven Heller, The New York Times, 3 December 2006, New York Times
reviewing Drew Friedman's Old Jewish Comedians. Amazon
''Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times'' is nearly unreadable by any but the most devoted maven of the sectarian disputes between specialists in the sociology and philosophy of science.
David Hollinger, The New York Times, 28 May 2000, New York Times
reviewing Steve Fuller's Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times. Amazon
The horribly positive and bouncy stop-smoking maven Allen Carr tells us that there is no pleasure in a cigarette; that all it does is temporarily still the craving it itself inspires.