Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, December 4, 2015


From My Shelf

Little Brown and Company: The Store by James Patterson

Vintage Books & Anchor Books: Reading Group Center Book Club Giveaway

The Joy of Cookbooks

In our collection of cookbook reviews below, you'll find delectable dishes ranging from spicy Russian broth to charred dandelions. But we'd like to mention just a few more titles:

Jocelyn Delk Adams has been a dessert lover for as long as she can remember; her grandmother's cakes are "the love notes of my family, the fabric of our heritage." Her memories have inspired Grandbaby Cakes (Agate Surry, $22.95), with recipes like Pineapple Upside-Down Hummingbird Cake and Lighter Lemon Pound Cake (which I've made--delish!). As Delk says, "Anything baked with love will always get applause."

Also yummy are the recipes in Sea Salt Sweet by Heather Baird (Running Press, $18). Matching saltiness with sweetness has gone beyond sea salt caramel desserts (as wonderful as they are): here you'll find Giant Red Berry Meringues with Black Lava Salt; Bacon Fat Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy; Salt-Baked Pears with Rosemary; and, in the love-it or hate-it category, Candied Kalamata Olives.

Desserts like Strawberry-Moonshine Fried Hand Pies and Brûléed Buttermilk Pie stand out in The Southerner's Cookbook (Harper Wave, $37.50), but there is much more to salivate over. Compiled by David DiBenedetto with Phillip Rhodes and the editors of Garden & Gun, the book is filled with regional recipes like the familiar Hoppin' John and skillet cornbread, and the less familiar Pinebark Stew, Collard Pesto and Chicken-Fried Short Ribs.

No recipes, but a wealth of nostalgic menus and photos from the Los Angeles Public Library are compiled in To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City by Josh Kun (Angel City Press, $45). Kun discusses what the menus revealed about the city and its life, from class to race to politics to culture.

In 1972, John Baeder quit Madison Avenue to become a full-time artist. He began with paintings based on postcards of diners, motels, gas stations. Jay Williams, who curated a Baeder retrospective, has amassed more than 300 illustrations, primarily of diners, in John Baeder's Road Well Taken (Vendome, $45). You'll want to hit the road in search of strong coffee. --Marilyn Dahl, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers


Doubleday Books: Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby


Book Review

Food & Wine

100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials

by America's Test Kitchen


America's Test Kitchen is known for its television show, magazines and many cookbooks showcasing exhaustively tested and carefully written recipes. 100 Recipes is a selection that "not only covers the bases in terms of what skills and techniques ought to be at the fingertips of a good home cook, it's also a list of... recipes where we think that the test kitchen has added real value and has explored new territory." The book is organized into "Absolute Essentials" (Scrambled Eggs, Roast Chicken, Blueberry Pie), "Surprising Essentials" (Poached Salmon, Vegetarian Chili, Yellow Layer Cake) and "Global Essentials" (Chicken Tagine, Vietnamese Pho, Latin American Flan). It's broken down further with 20 top-five recipe lists for different types of cooks, including budget-minded, health-minded, kids, vegetarians and "tired." A section on conversions and equivalents and a fine index complete this perfect package: a solid choice for any beginner or for experienced cooks looking for a new trick or two. --Sara Catterall

Discover: 100 thoroughly tested essential recipes by the acclaimed America's Test Kitchen.

America's Test Kitchen, $40, hardcover, 9781940352015

Nation Books: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi


Agricola Cookbook

by Josh Thomsen, Kate Winslow, Steven Tomlinson


Since agricola means "farmer" in Latin, it's no surprise that Agricola Eatery in Princeton, N.J., builds its menu around fresh, local, seasonal ingredients--many supplied by its own Great Road Farm. In the restaurant's eponymous cookbook, executive chef Josh Thomsen and farmer Steven Tomlinson share a colorful plethora of recipes that capture the spirit of Agricola.

The cookbook centers on uncomplicated dishes made from fresh, flavorful ingredients: summer tomatoes and corn on the cob; winter salads and vegetables (beets, kale, squash of all kinds). Occasional "From the Farmer" essays explore certain foods (turnips) and techniques (making fresh mozzarella) in further detail. Pickling and preserving play a key role in many Agricola dishes, and Thomsen shares his pickling know-how and favorite recipes. Mouthwatering dessert and cocktail chapters--both highlighting local fruits--finish off the cookbook in style.

Illustrated with gorgeous full-color spreads throughout, Agricola will inspire cooks who like simple, bold recipes bursting with flavor. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: Princeton, N.J.'s Agricola Eatery presents a cookbook of bold, flavorful recipes centered on fresh seasonal ingredients.

Burgess Lea Press, $30, hardcover, 9781941868003

Matchup by Gayle Lynds


At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends

by Mary McCartney


On the coattails of her first book, Food, Mary McCartney brings a round of some 75 new vegetarian recipes to the table. The recipes figure into special categories--Celebration Brunch, Bonfire Party and I Heart Mexican Food, to name a few--that celebrate the connection between a passion for cooking and the joy one finds in sharing dishes with family and friends. They range from the relatively simple (scrambled eggs with chives, mixed peppers, sweet potato oven fries, wilted spinach) to the complex (herb and cheese soufflé, chocolate almond tortes, moussaka). They also feature fresh and healthy ingredients. Many of the dishes are gluten- and dairy-free, or can be adapted to accommodate these dietary restrictions. McCartney's photography brings the book to life, making it a delight to look at as well as cook from. For those searching for ready-made vegetarian menus for a variety of family-oriented events, At My Table will fit the bill. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Discover: Mary McCartney offers simple to complex vegetarian recipes that highlight fresh ingredients and the joy of cooking and eating with loved ones.

Sterling Epicure, $29.95, hardcover, 9781454916598

Melville House Publishing: The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer


The Beer & Food Companion

by Stephen Beaumont


Stephen Beaumont's The Beer & Food Companion celebrates two of the finer things in life: beer and food. More than just a celebration, though, the book is a history, an exploration and a how-to on everything related to beer and food pairings.

Beginning with the basics, Beaumont outlines the history of brewing; various types and styles of beer (including specific labels to look for); and stories of how beer and food have been paired throughout history and across the world. From there, the book moves into sections on instruction, accompanied by profiles of contemporary beer connoisseurs. Subsequent chapters on cooking with beer include techniques--like where, in a standard recipe, a liquid might be replaced with beer--and dish-specific recipes. This attention to detail culminates in simple and inspiring charts of food and beer pairings to experiment with.

"The great point," Abraham Lincoln is said to have quipped, "is to bring [people] the real facts--and beer." The Beer & Food Companion brings both, and does it well. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

Discover: Beer enthusiasts will delight in history and advice on pairing beer and food.

Jacqui Small, $35, hardcover, 9781909342996

Counterpoint Press: A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton


Citrus: Sweet & Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes

by Valerie Aikman-Smith, Victoria Pearson


Chef Valerie Aikman-Smith and food photographer Victoria Pearson join forces in Citrus: Sweet & Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes. The result is a celebration of citrus in all its forms, common and exotic alike. (Readers who live in citrus-challenged climates may be frustrated by their inability to get yuzu, bergamot oranges or finger limes--or might be inspired to move.)

The photographs are gorgeous. The 75 recipes are clearly written and enticing, drawn from the citrus-rich cuisines of the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and southern California. Many, like mandarin meringue pie or linguine with clams and lime, are twists on the familiar. Others, like citrus crisps, are unexpected. Some of the most interesting recipes are for beverages and condiments, such as orange bitters, citrus oil and citrus salts. Aiken-Smith includes tips on buying and storing citrus as well as preferred techniques for zesting, juicing, peeling and segmenting fruits.

Citrus will appeal to cooks who want to brighten their winter cooking with a shot of sunshine. --Pamela Toler, blogging at History in the Margins

Discover: Citrus explores the brilliance and beauty of winter's freshest fruits.

Ten Speed Press, $19.99, hardcover, 9781607747673

Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan


Dinner Pies: From Shepherd's Pies and Pot Pies to Turnovers, Quiches, Hand Pies, and More, with 100 Delectable and Foolproof Recipes

by Ken Haedrich


Comfort food cook Ken Haedrich proclaims to be "hopelessly addicted to crust" and "a dinner pie fanatic." He presents 100 recipes for two-crust, one-crust and no-crust savory main-dish pies--classics like Cottage, Shepherd's and Chicken Pot pies. But he's also adventurous, including easy-to-follow recipes for galettes (kale, potato and ricotta cheese), tarts (eggplant parmesan pizza), quiches (shrimp and garlic scampi), breakfast pies (eggs Florentine), strudels (chicken and rice cheese), cobblers (chili biscuit) and other wrapped entrees (meatloaf Wellington; salmon and spinach pastry packets). Haedrich offers useful, and often playful, advice, tips, solutions and techniques that will encourage even the most leery to overcome their fears of pie making--especially when it comes to preparing homemade dough, getting dough into the pan, edging and the proper ways to bake and prebake pie shells. Tools and equipment, a suggested list of keep-on-hand pantry ingredients, how to select the perfect pie pan and a guide to shopping for produce are also included. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A seasoned "comfort food" cook offers straightforward recipes for making scrumptious one-dish savory pies.

Harvard Common Press, $24.95, hardcover, 9781558328518

Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking

by Darra Goldstein


In Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, Darra Goldstein, founding editor of Gastronomica, explores the culinary traditions of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, traditions marked by "creativity fostered by austerity."  She considers the shared tastes that define Nordic cuisine as a whole: cured and salted fish, pickled vegetables and the distinctive flavors of dill, juniper and cardamom.

Drawing on the techniques of memoir and travelogue, Goldstein goes beyond the recipes to discuss her personal relationship with Nordic cuisine, and the historical and geographical elements that shape each country's foods. Some of the most interesting essays deal with topics such as foraging, St. Lucia's Day and cod.

But Goldstein never loses track of the fact that Fire and Ice is primarily a cookbook. Her recipes are clearly written. Goldstein includes a list of online sources for ingredients and implements that are not readily available in the United States, and suggests substitutes for the few items that cannot be obtained at all. --Pamela Toler, blogging at History in the Margins

Discover: Fire and Ice is a love letter to Scandinavia's food and culture.

Ten Speed Press, $40, hardcover, 9781607746102

The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen

by Ricardo Zarate, Jenn Garbee


In The Fire of Peru Ricardo Zarate presents recipes and techniques influenced by his Lima childhood and his career as a Los Angeles chef, with strong bright flavors "rooted in long-standing traditions, the result of dozens of cultures' cooking styles and ingredients merging together over many years." Main dishes include Mini Green Tamales with Wild Mushroom Seco Sauce; Rice and Bean Patties with Spicy Tuna; Incan Potato, Pork & Peanut Stew with Mint Chimichurri; and his home adaptation of the popular Peruvian rotisserie chicken. There are many grilled dishes, sashimi, slow-braised stews, mixed salads, snacks and cocktails. Zarate makes bite-size sushi versions of cold potato casseroles called causas, and turns chufla, a traditional rice pudding, into Chocolate Quinoa Pudding with Sabayon & Puffed Quinoa Ice Cream.

Home cooks will enjoy Zarate's chatty recipe descriptions, careful instructions and many notes on technique, shopping and locating or substituting ingredients that may not be easy to find. He combines a deep respect for tradition with inspiring creativity and enthusiasm conveyed by his favorite phrase, "Let's make it happen." --Sara Catterall

Discover: Chef Ricardo Zarate's take on the cultural melting pot of modern Peruvian food.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, hardcover, 9780544454309

Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen

by Gena Hamshaw


The founders of Food52 were initially wary of vegan cooking when they added Gena Hamshaw's (Choosing Raw) "New Veganism" column, which promoted "the idea that vegan cuisine can be celebrated not as a set of replacements or alternatives, but as an assemblage of vibrant recipes that happen to exclude animal products." Hamshaw's column soon became one of Food52's most widely read, and her "tolerant and graceful presentation of vegan cooking... made converts of us all."

In Food52 Vegan, Hamshaw presents 60 plant-based recipes, including vegan favorites like Kale Chips and Tofu Scramble, and originals like Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Toasted Almonds; Mushroom, Chard and Quinoa Enchiladas; and Blackberry Coconut Ice Cream. Tips to facilitate vegan cooking proliferate throughout (like why coconut oil is a staple, and the difference between tempeh and tofu), and a section titled "Basics" explains egg replacers, nut milks, creams and cheeses. Each recipe is accompanied by a glorious photograph that whets the appetite and provides plating inspiration. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics

Discover: Welcoming plant-based ingredients "will forever change the landscape of your kitchen."

Ten Speed Press, $22.99, hardcover, 9781607747994

Frankie Avalon's Italian Family Cookbook: From Mom's Kitchen to Mine and Yours

by Frankie Avalon, Rick Rodgers


Perhaps it's Frankie Avalon's minestrone that flows from the fountain of youth. Decades after his Top 40 hit "Venus," and his Beach Party movies, the actor and musician has added cookbook author to his credits, sharing Frankie Avalon's Italian Family Cookbook and the recipes from his South Philadelphia roots.

An homage to the family dinner, with more than 80 traditional Italian dishes, many of Avalon's recipes "come directly from those gravy-splattered pages" of his mom's notebook. Step-by-step directions simplify even intimidating dishes: potato gnocchi, veal saltimbocca and cannoli-rum layer cake are within reach of amateur cooks following his instructions.

Lavishly illustrated with full-page color photos of the dishes, and of Avalon, his family and favorite South Philly markets, this performer's cookbook is an inspiration to follow Frankie's lead and put on an apron and head to the kitchen. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

Discover: After decades as a performer, Frankie Avalon shares a cookbook that celebrates his heritage and can lead any cook through classic Italian recipes.

St. Martin's Griffin, $24.99, hardcover, 9781250059130

From the Source--Thailand: The Most Authentic Recipes from the People That Know Them Best

by Austin Bush, Mark Wiens


From the Source--Thailand showcases Thailand's best local dishes as they've been prepared for generations at home or in restaurants. It is organized by region, highlighting the wide regional variations in Thai cuisine, from the mild pork and mushroom dishes of northern Thailand to the spicy dishes of the south. Familiar dishes like chicken satay appear alongside more novel options, like flash-fried morning glory; sophisticated urban cuisine is featured together with rustic rural dishes and street food.

The ingredients might take some effort to find outside of Asian markets, though the recipes are straightforward and require only simple kitchen equipment. Each recipe occupies two double-page spreads, ample space for the recipe, a brief essay describing its history and cultural importance, and full-page photos of the dish and its featured cook. The result is not a manual or a glamorous visual presentation of food; it is a rare mix of people and dishes that invites us in, to appreciate and attempt something new. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Discover: This cookbook combines food anthropology, travelogue and recipes to introduce Western readers to the best regional Thai dishes and the people who prepare them.

Lonely Planet, $24.99, hardcover, 9781743607633

Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland's The Country Cat

by Adam and Jackie Sappington with Ashley Gartland


Adam and Jackie Sappington combine their love of "glorified gramma cuisine" with fresh Pacific Northwest ingredients in their Portland, Ore., restaurant, and in Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland's The Country Cat they share the secrets to their comfort cuisine.

Adam grew up in rural Missouri on "the foods of America's heartland" and went to Portland for culinary school, focusing on "the pure flavors of the region." Los Angeles native Jackie shared Adam's passion for down-home cooking, and with her baking savvy they teamed up (personally and professionally) and opened the Country Cat in 2006.

Vegetarians may skip chapters (Adam is a whole-animal butcher) but there's plenty of meatless fare celebrating their "distinct style of heritage cooking." They suggest indispensable kitchen gear (a cast-iron skillet is a must!), staples (four kinds of fats) and basic techniques before sharing their recipes. Buttermilk biscuits or smoked tomato soup, the Country Cat cookbook blends heartwarming dishes and anecdotes. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

Discover: Portland, Ore.'s Country Cat restaurant, known for its authentic heartland cuisine, shares recipes plus stories from the owners' roots.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, hardcover, 9780544363779

Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine and Eastern Europe

by Olia Hercules


Following recent unrest in Ukraine, Olia Hercules began to collect her family's recipes, afraid they would otherwise be lost to her. Many appear in Mamushka, alongside stories of her delightful and sometimes eccentric family. Born in Ukraine in 1984, Hercules describes growing up surrounded by diverse culinary inspirations, for which eating seasonally was not a choice but a necessity. Not until she became a chef did she realize how much she valued the food she had grown up eating, and how much her early culinary adventures had shaped her as a person.

Mamushka includes dishes common to Ukraine and Eastern Europe, like borshch and potato cakes; however, those recipes quickly become extraordinary with the personal touches Hercules and her family have added to them, like the piquant Russian broth, which Hercules describes as "savory, spicy, and a little bit crazy-tasting." Mamushka is an absolute joy to explore. --Justus Joseph, bookseller at Elliott Bay Book Company

Discover: Mamushka is part cookbook, part cultural and familial history, and is certain to delight anyone with a taste for food from Eastern Europe.

Weldon Owen, $35, hardcover, 9781616289614

The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook

by Danny Bowien, Chris Ying


Danny Bowien calls Mission Chinese Food Cookbook a work in progress; in addition, it is a tribute to the transformative passion that turned a Korean-American adopted by white parents from Oklahoma into a James Beard Award‑winning chef and a food revolutionary. His reinterpretation of Chinese food has drawn the support of culinary master René Redzepi, whose New Nordic cooking borrows from cuisines worldwide.

Originally a pop-up restaurant, Mission Chinese Food evolved into a kitschy hole-in-the-wall in San Francisco's Mission District that Anthony Bourdain deemed "the mutant offspring of a taco cart, a charitable pop-up, a loose gathering of chefs." Bowien includes many pan-Asian favorites: spicy Chongqing chicken wings that mesmerized Momofuku's David Chang; salt cod fried rice, a riff off a Chinese favorite; and a mouth-numbing take on spicy mapo tofu. The recipes are geared toward the experienced cook, but the conversational tête-à-tête with Lucky Peach editor Chris Ying, and down-to-earth candor, makes this book an enjoyable read for fans of Asian fusion cuisine. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

Discover: Danny Bowien writes an intimate history of Mission Chinese Food that offers glimpses into the thought processes of a rising culinary star.

Anthony Bourdain/Ecco, $34.99, hardcover, 9780062243416

My Life on a Plate: Recipes from Around the World

by Kelis Rogers


After releasing her first album, singer Kelis spent the next 10 years performing all over the world. And in her downtime, she writes, "[I] slipped away to food adventures when there was no gig, literally eating my way from sea to sea." Between her travels and her early childhood, when she watched her mother cook for her catering business in New York City, Kelis developed a sophisticated palette for all types of food. In My Life on a Plate, she brings her own twist to multiple recipes she's collected as a musician and later as a trained chef. Many of the dishes she includes have a Puerto Rican or Latin flavor to them, like Sofrito, Platano Soup or Smoked Bacon Arepas. Others emphasize flavors--curry, cumin, cardamom and ginger--one might find in Bali or Kuala Lumpur, or use coconut milk, such as Coconut Curry Crab Soup. Kelis brings comfort food (mac and cheese, meatloaf) and dishes with tropical ingredients (yucca, guava purée) together in one worldwide tour of flavorful cuisine. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer  

Discover: Trained chef and musician Kelis shares her favorite recipes from around the world.

Kyle Cathie, $24.95, hardcover, 9781909487307

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel

by Heidi Swanson


James Beard Award‑winner Heidi Swanson (Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day) combines her many passions--vegetarian cooking, international travel, writing and photography--into Near & Far, a celebration of vegetarian recipes that reflect her home in San Francisco, as well as her frequent travels to Morocco, Japan, India, France and Italy.

Beginning with a list of evocative ingredients from her journal, Swanson intends to inspire creativity and experimentation: "Food rooted in place--both near and far. This is a cookbook that attempts to explore both." San Francisco selections include Fennel Stew and Squash & Wild Rice Soup; Morocco presents Beghrir and Roasted Tomato Salad; Japan embraces Tempeh with Shoyu Butter and Watermelon Radish Soup; Italy shares Brown Butter Tortelli and Farro Salad; France celebrates Tartine au Endives, and Madeleines; India savors Saag Paneer and Makhaniya Lassi. The En Route selections highlight travel-friendly treats. Each recipe evokes a sense of place and will inspire wanderlust in every reader. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics

Discover: "Every place has its own always evolving culinary voice" for cooks interested in listening and learning.

Ten Speed Press, $29.99, hardcover, 9781607745495

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Over 100 Delicious Recipes from My Personal Cookbook

by Rachel Khoo


Following the success of her Little Paris Kitchen cookbook and TV show, Rachel Khoo has become famous for her Francophile recipes. But Khoo is proudly British--with a twist. Of Austrian and Malaysian descent, she's also an avid traveler and experimental cook who loves to mix different cuisines and flavors.

In Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook, she serves up dozens of her favorite recipes, including her takes on classic dishes (fish and chips; sesame chicken; Italian panzanella) and her own inventions (eggplant-halloumi schnitzel; lemon-custard "lava cakes"). Each recipe includes a snippet of commentary on its place of origin or inspiration, and Khoo sprinkles helpful tips into the cooking instructions. Most of the recipes are simple to make (though some are time-consuming), and all are mouthwateringly illustrated. The book bursts with vivid watercolors and handwritten captions, giving it the warm, unfussy feel of a sketchbook--a perfect jumping-off point for culinary inspiration. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: Rachel Khoo presents a tasty international collection of her favorite recipes in whimsical "sketchbook" form.

Chronicle, $29.95, hardcover, 9781452140568

Sea and Smoke: Flavors from the Untamed Pacific Northwest

by Blaine Wetzel, Joe Ray


Sea and Smoke offers an intimate look inside the creative vision and techniques of chef Blaine Wetzel and his Willows Inn restaurant in Washington State's San Juan Islands. It begins with nearly 100 pages of lush and gorgeously illustrated essays about Lummi Island, its wild foods, fishermen and small farmers, and the daily work of the restaurant over one year. There is more than a whiff of Roald Dahl in the beautiful strangeness that characterizes the recipes. Cooking from them may require some creative translation. Wild beach peas, fresh caught salmon roe and madrona bark are out of reach for most cooks. However, preserved Rose Hips with Warm Milk Jam or Salt-Cured Bone Marrow with Berries and Dried Beets are feasible outside the wild Northwest, and Whole Wheat Bread with Chicken Drippings or Flax Seed Caramels even more so. Foundation recipes include homemade sea salt, stocks and pickles. Any adventurous, experienced cook will find fresh ideas here, and those living near wild places may be inspired to forage for new flavors close to home. --Sara Catterall

Discover: The beautiful and wild culinary visions of chef Blaine Wetzel.

Running Press, $40, hardcover, 9780762453788

The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes

by Silver Spoon Kitchen


The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes presents 100 recipes, each of which can be cooked in less than 30 minutes. They are gathered from The Silver Spoon, the classic Italian cookbook featuring 2,000 traditional dishes as prepared by local home and restaurant cooks. The book was originally commissioned after World War II by the famous Italian design magazine Domus to showcase the country's food traditions, and quickly became the bible of Italian cookery. It was translated into English in 2005.

Quick and Easy Italian Recipes maintains The Silver Spoon's clean, straightforward presentation. A full-page color photograph accompanies each recipe. There are plenty of options for using seasonal ingredients in appetizers, sides, main courses, desserts and beverages. The introduction suggests that it is intended for both beginning and experienced cooks, though the recipe instructions assume some familiarity with basic cooking techniques. While those looking for on-trend cookbooks by celebrity chefs, with personal narratives and recipe backstories, won't find them here, this succinct, practical cookbook offers the serious home cook plenty of time-tested options for delicious weeknight suppers and weekend feasts alike. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Discover: These 100 authentic and tested Italian recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

Phaidon, $29.95, hardcover, 9780714870588

Sweet and Tart: 70 Irresistible Recipes with Citrus

by Carla Snyder, photographs by Nicole Franzen


In the introduction to her citrus-themed baking book, Sweet and Tart, Carla Snyder writes that "the sharp tang of beloved, bright yellow lemons can't be beaten for both pleasing palates and helping all the flavors of a homemade creation to pop." Just reading those words makes one's mouth water for the tartness of the lemony baked goods that follow: Heavenly Lemon Squares; Lemon Chiffon Pie; Lemon Ricotta Cake; Lemon, Pepper and Asiago Crackers. Dishes like Grapefruit Custard Pie, Blood Orange Angel Food Cake and Key Lime Bars with Tropical Nut Crust offer ideas for baking with more than just lemons, exploring all that the citrus family has to offer.

Sweet and Tart collects recipes for both sweet and savory treats, which are divided into easy-to-navigate sections: Bars and Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Savories, etc. With simple instructions and innovative ideas, Snyder's collection of recipes is not only a practical how-to on baking with citrus, but also an inspirational book designed to encourage bakers to try these fruits in new ways. Or, as Snyder says, "Pucker up!" --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

Discover: Carla Snyder's baking book celebrates the joy of citrus in both sweet and savory treats.

Chronicle Books, $19.95, hardcover, 9781452134796

Zahav

by Steven Cook, Michael Solomonov


Zahav is an intensely personal work that is as much a celebration of Michael Solomonov's Israeli cultural roots as it is a family album of comforting and well-loved recipes. The idea of the book was born out of Solomonov's desire to give others palpable experiences of Israeli hospitality outside of its politics and evening news headlines, and it largely succeeds. Solomonov and his business partner Steven Cook have provided a good mix of recipes that begin with the basic building blocks of Israeli cooking and transition fluidly into more complex courses. Highlights include a recipe for tehina (or tahini), the "secret sauce" that is silky, "creamy, nutty and rich with a delicate sweetness." Solomonov provides tips on how to render smooth hummus, which is a happy consequence of overcooked chickpeas, as well as cultural context behind the recipes, such as the Turkish, Bulgarian, Persian and Palestinian influences on this comforting cuisine. "Do what the Israelis do," writes Solomonov, "adapt to our surroundings using tradition as our guide." --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, hardcover, 9780544373280

The Boy Who Saw
by Simon Toyne
ISBN-13: 978-0062329752
William Morrow
07/04/2017


an exclusive interview with bestselling author Simon Toyne
 

In THE BOY WHO SAW and your other thrillers, there is a richness to the atmosphere, to your descriptive passages. Is that a priority in your writing? 

“I do work very hard on the language because I think it’s as much part of the enjoyment of reading as following the story and a key part of the storytelling. Writing for TV, which I did for nearly 20 years, is all about structure and dialogue so you never get to exercise your descriptive muscles as far as languages goes, which was one of the reasons I wanted to try writing novels. But whenever I describe things in my books, I always try and do it in the most efficient way possible so as not to get in the way of the story or the pace, which are paramount in thrillers. For setting, I normally make a place up so that I can have free license with it.  For this book though I felt I needed to anchor it in reality as much as possible because of the theme of learning the lessons of history, so I used a town in France called Cordes-sur-Ciel, which I know very well as I live there for some of the year.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

ALSO FEATURED ON THE the big THRILL…
 

DEADFALL by LINDA FAIRSTEIN: In the 19th in the Alexandra Cooper series, the assistant DA teams up with two police officers after the shocking killing of a major public figure, but her investigation takes her deep into the dangerous predator spheres of the city, from civic zoos to the highest offices in city government. Read more at The Big Thrill.

EXILE by JAMES SWALLOW: The bestselling author returns with his protagonist Marc Dane in an action thriller that takes readers from vicious Serbian gangs to disgraced Russian generals and vengeful Somali warlords, as Dane sees a disaster coming and struggles to be the one who can stop it in time. Find out more here.

SEEING RED by SANDRA BROWN: New York Times bestseller Brown tells a story of a TV journalist on the trail of a big story, an exclusive interview with a shadowy hero who led survivors to safety out of a bombed hotel. But getting the story puts her in greater danger than she ever thought possible. Learn more at The Big Thrill.

THE GOOD DAUGHTER By KARIN SLAUGHTER: In her new novel of psychological suspense, Slaughter delivers a cold-case file story sure to grip readers: 28 years after her mother was killed and her father left devastated in a small town, a lawyer faces violence in her town again, and memories of a shocking truth. Visit The Big Thrill for more. 

DARK LIGHT DAWN by JON LAND & FABRIZIO BOCCARDI: In this supernatural thriller about a global epidemic, a man who built a life for himself as a Navy SEAL finds himself in the middle of a rogue rescue operation leading to a sinister apocalyptic plot. Read more here.

Powered by: Xtenit