Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mariner Books: Briefly Perfectly Human: Making an Authentic Life by Getting Real about the End by Alua Arthur

From My Shelf

Food, Glorious Food

In this issue devoted to cookbooks, we use a sophisticated algorithm: First, is there bacon? (What happened to bacon cookbooks? Where is this year's I Love Bacon! or Everything Tastes Better with Bacon?) Next, is there chocolate? (Chocolate figures prominently in our staff meetings--dark chocolate with pink peppercorns, dark chocolate with grey sea salt, dark chocolate with... dark chocolate, with a few milk chocolate outliers.) Also, is it spicy? We're suckers for spicy food, harissa being the current favorite condiment.

We love cookbooks, and we like to read about food: cooking it, sharing it and occasionally screwing it up. In Man with a Pan, John Donohue combined 21 writers and chefs, 13 "civilians" and 21 New Yorker cartoons to whip up a tasty mix of more than 60 recipes, cookbook recommendations and 34 sweet, funny stories about men cooking. Mark Bittman talks about parenthood and the necessities of daily life that taught him to cook. Jim Harrison, delightfully opinionated, proclaims, "Currently the overuse of rosemary among bad cooks in America must be viewed as a capital crime."

Sharing food in unlikely places is showcased in Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar. Matt McAllester collected stories from war correspondents about memorable meals. Our reviewer said, "Despite fear for their own safety under the threat of constant violence, these writers cannot escape the essential human need for food nor the equally strong need for companionship. Huddled in a foxhole or around a smoky campfire, they find both--and often a liberal dash of humor and goodwill--in the most unlikely of places."

"Comfort food" is the big deal now, and we all know what it means to us. But any food can be comfort food, especially when shared, and there are books for every taste that will send you into the kitchen or to a comfy sofa with a smile; as restaurant servers now say, "Enjoy!" --Marilyn Dahl

Sleeping Bear Press: A Kurta to Remember by Gauri Dalvi Pandya, Illustrated by Avani Dwivedi

The Writer's Life

Quinoa Lust, Farro Forever & the Thing I Thought I'd Never Eat

Our eight-year-old daughter, Lily, is allowed one thing she doesn't have to eat. While this hasn't quite gelled enough in her mind to influence her behavior, she likes me to tell her the one thing I won't eat. It's been the same my whole life: egg salad. Trace it back to the kid at the end of my grade school lunch table who ate it every day, on Wonder Bread. It was drippy. It smelled. He licked his hands. Yuck.

Then I read an entry by Heidi Swanson on her website,, about how she didn't get egg salad, either. So she reinvented it, with yogurt and dill and chives on toasted whole grain bread. Suddenly, I was dreaming about egg salad--in a positive way.

With all the wonderful cookbooks featured in this special cookbook issue of Shelf Awareness, we wanted to tell you about staff favorite go-to cookbook author Heidi Swanson. Her most recent cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, has become such a part of our repertoire that a dear friend now calls it "Super Natural Every Meal." Heidi focuses on whole and natural foods but she does it with style and amazing taste, with relatively easy-to-find ingredients and she somehow pulls this off in a non-preachy and sexy way.

I never thought I'd have my family regularly asking for Otsu (buckwheat noodles with tofu in a zesty ginger sauce) or farro soup with salted lemon yogurt or be drooling over Quinoa Patties, but now they do, and we and our bodies are happier because of this. Heidi makes it look chic, yummy and just generally cool to cook this way. Heck, she even got me and Lily to love egg salad. --Jenn Risko

We asked Heidi to answer a few questions about books and, of course, food:

Books on your nightstand now:

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Solar by Ian McEwan, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert and Mission Street Food by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz.

Favorite food as a kid:


Favorite book as a kid:

Any and everything Judy Blume.

Book that (cookbook or otherwise) most influences your food:

Chez Panisse Vegetables and Chez Panisse Fruits by Alice Waters.

Favorite new ingredient:

The tin of Sesame a la Prune Ume (umeboshi plum-coated sesame seeds) I found in Paris a couple months back. Or June Taylor's Black and Tan conserve (Triple Crown Blackberry & Tayberry).

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Mast Brothers Fleur de Sel.

Cookbook you'd like to discover again for the first time:

Moro East by Samuel and Samantha Clark.

Cookbook you're an evangelist for:

Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain.

Cookbook you bought for the cover:

Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery by Rose Carrarini

What would your last meal be?

I genuinely try not to think about that.


Thanksgiving Feasts; Families; TV Shows from Books

"Thanksgiving is a time of coming together, of enjoyment, of abundance--in a word, of food." Flavorwire showcased "10 of film's most mouth-watering feasts," several of which are based upon books, including Babette's Feast and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.


A Thanksgiving treat (or mistreatment, depending upon your perspective): Ploughshares explored the less celebratory side of the holiday with "a dysfunctional family reading list and playlist to celebrate those good people who you just can't get away from."


Acknowledging that "there are no promises that any book to TV adaptation, even those with great books as starting points, will be any good, and there are hundreds of shows created in this way that aren’t," Flavorwire offered its choices for the 10 all-time best TV shows adapted from books."

Book Review

Food & Wine

The Slow Cook Book

by Heather Whinney

The Slow Cook Book capitalizes on the recent popularity of slow cookers, but it isn't just tied to one appliance. Each recipe in the book includes instructions using the stovetop and oven to achieve the same result as with the slow cooker. Heather Whinney's recipes cover a wide variety of world cuisines and flavors, including many vegetarian options, with easy, numbered instructions and mouthwateringly gorgeous photographs. The recipes are divided into sections such as "Casseroles, Cassoulets, and Meatballs" or "Chilis and Gumbos," making it easy to find exactly the right meal. Whinney's comforting, hearty choices will warm the kitchen as they cook, however you choose to cook them. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

Discover: The joy of flavorful slow cooking, from borscht to biryani.

DK Publishing, $25, hardcover, 9780756686789

Shiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer

by Shiro Kashiba with photography by Ann Norton

Shiro Kashiba stands atop any list defining Japanese food in Seattle. He's been called many things--culinary master, fisherman, mushroom forager and nature lover--but first and foremost he's the "Sushi King." His eponymous debut cookbook is no chef-vanity affair, though, but a riveting and imaginative blending of East and West in the quest for high gastronomic art.

Shiro weaves personal history with philosophy, particularly with respect to preserving and maintaining food sources in the Pacific Northwest, and Ann Norton's photography adds a human dimension to the Sushi King's mystique. Kashiba's story begins in Japan, two decades after World War II, when he learns the fundamentals of edomaezushi (Tokyo-centric sushi) apprenticing with a renowned sushi master in the upscale Ginza district. Dreaming of bigger successes, he jumps across the Pacific to the bountiful shores of the Northwest, where he discovers an equally rich world of culinary design. In his transformative path from sushi chef to restaurateur, Kashiba learns to mine the treasures of his adopted homeland, creating a uniquely edomae menu for the Northwest. Shiro represents the climax of that culinary achievement. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

Discover: The remarkable life story and culinary philosophy of Seattle's "Sushi King."

Chin Music, $20, trade paper, 9780984457625

Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast

by Becky Selengut

Good Fish is a collection of seafood recipes that focuses on sustainably harvested fish and shellfish from the Pacific Coast. This is a must-have for any Pacific Northwesterner, but the recipes are also applicable for seafood lovers and foodies at large. Every chapter is broken down by the type of fish (Shellfish, Finfish, Littlefish), beginning with Selengut's experiences with each fish, followed by the basics of Seafood 101. She provides information on the species, seasonal ideals, buying tips, the process of raising/harvesting (farmed or wild) and bringing out the best flavor. Her choice of accompanying ingredients is basic, but they pair well and highly complement the seafood, like Mussels with Guinness Cream or Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Fennel. Selengut goes far beyond the step-by-step process for individual recipes for a deeper understanding of how to handle the fish. In the Salmon section, she goes as far as explaining "the anatomy of a flake," with picture-by-picture detail showing how to tell if your salmon or halibut is cooked correctly. "It seems that most of fish cookery has boiled down to five letters: F-L-A-K-E." After re-creating a few of these recipes, your overall understanding of the cooking process will improve to the point of attempting your own tasty experiments. --Aaron Talwar, publisher

Discover: The best sustainable Pacific Coast seafood choices, an in-depth understanding of the fish and tasty recipes--a must have for both regional and non-regional cooks.

Sasquatch Books, $29.95, trade paper, 9781570616624

Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants

by Marissa Guggiana

Ever wonder what famous chefs and culinary professionals eat before spending the evening in the kitchen preparing and serving food for the rest of us? Look no further than Off the Menu to find your answer. Marissa Guggiana (Primal Cuts) has meticulously researched and photographed staff meals at more than 50 of America's great restaurants--particularly those with a focus on using local produce and livestock. Guggiana provides an introduction to each restaurant and a description of the staff meal she attended, with accompanying recipes and photographs. As a bonus, each chef has graciously answered an "Escoffier Questionnaire"--it is hardly surprising to see how many chefs are inspired by Alice Waters, but it is refreshing to discover that most would prefer a cheeseburger over foie gras. --Roni K. Devlin, owner of Literary Life Bookstore & More

Discover: A meticulously researched account of what the staff at 50 of America's finest restaurants get to eat.

Welcome Books, $40, hardcover, 9781599621029

The Food of Spain

by Claudia Roden

Delving into each region's culinary styles and preferred ingredients, Claudia Roden serves up a delightful cornucopia of Spanish history, culture and delicious food in this plump, gorgeously illustrated collection. Pepa's Fish Soup, the chosen test recipe, brings seafood and comfort food together in one pot. While the stew is perfumed with delicate saffron, potatoes and firm whitefish give the concoction enough substance to hit the spot on a chilly evening. A Catalan picada, a paste of almonds ground with garlic, joins the mixture at the end of cooking to provide thickening and a hint of subtle nuttiness.

Any chef interested in the home cooking of other countries will surely appreciate Roden's lavish offering in The Food of Spain, and while you won't get a finder's fee, you can hope for a finder's flan! --Jaclyn Fulwood, graduate assistant, University of Oklahoma Libraries

Discover: A big, beautiful book of traditional recipes, from tapas to tortillas to paella, and everything in between.

Ecco, $45, hardcover, 9780061969621

Mourad: New Moroccan

by Mourad Lahlou

Some TV viewers may recognize Mourad Lahlou from Iron Chef America, but rest assured: he is not your typical celebrity chef. Aziza, Lahlou's Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant, has a reputation for unequalled presentations of modern Moroccan dishes, and his cookbook offers a similarly updated look at a timeless cuisine. Lahlou was born in Casablanca and raised in Marrakesh, where he learned to appreciate the cooking of his culture under the watchful eyes and talented hands of an extended family. Mourad: New Moroccan clearly reflects this heritage and will appeal to readers and cooks alike, with an engaging introduction followed by more than 100 perfectly arranged recipes, all interspersed with beautiful full-color photographs. This cookbook should be on everyone's wish list this holiday season. --Roni K. Devlin, owner of Literary Life Bookstore & More

Discover: Mourad Lahlou's Moroccan cookbook is part memoir and part gastronomic philosophy, with more than 100 recipes.

Artisan, $40, hardcover, 9781579654290

Ching's Everyday Easy Chinese

by Ching-He Huang

Although "healthy" and "Chinese takeout" are often set up as opposites, Ching-He Huang believes they can live in harmony. Using fresh ingredients and vibrant spices, and eschewing the oil and MSG often used at restaurants, Huang (a rising star on the Cooking Channel) gives readers a healthy, creative take on more than 100 Chinese takeout recipes.

Huang's years in China, South Africa and the United Kingdom have given her a truly international perspective on food, which shines through in the anecdotes she shares in each chapter and in her innovative melding of flavors. She supplements her notes about the origin of each recipe with cooking tips, suggestions for pantry staples, and mouthwatering photos by Jamie Cho. All the classics--chow mein, General Tso's chicken, spring rolls and various stir-fries--appear alongside creative variations on classic dishes, plus a few totally new recipes. Chinese takeout never looked so appealing, so healthy, or so easy to make. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: TV chef Ching-He Huang presents fresh, healthy versions of more than 100 classic Chinese takeout recipes.

Morrow, $27.50, hardcover, 9780062077493

How to Cook Indian: More than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Though many Americans might not yet recognize Sanjeev Kapoor's name, it is only a matter of time. Kapoor is a celebrity chef in India, associated with a daily television show, more than 140 cookbooks and over 20 restaurants. Now, he brings his expertise to the readers and cooks of the United States. How to Cook Indian is a hefty 600-plus pages, with a thorough presentation, from beverages to masalas and main courses, including many regional specialties. Each recipe is listed with its traditional name as well as an Americanized description, and is outlined in simple steps (frequently with extra tips from Kapoor). The ingredient lists may seem lengthy at first, but once you obtain the first batch of spice staples, your pantry should already have many of the other fixings. Of note: How to Cook Indian doesn't have a single photograph, but given Kapoor's recipe introductions, numbered instructions and helpful hints, the pictures likely won't be missed. --Roni K. Devlin, owner of Literary Life Bookstore & More

Discover: A well-presented compendium of Indian cuisine geared toward American readers and cooks.

Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, $29.95, hardcover, 9781584799139


by Jacob Kenedy

Jacob Kenedy has been conjuring up stripped-down, simple Italian meals at his London restaurant, Bocca di Lupa, since 2008. Now he's bringing his take on Italian cuisine to print with Bocca, his second cookbook (after The Geometry of Pasta with Caz Hildebrand).

The recipes in Bocca are inspired by the traditional cooking of Italy, giving nod to the distinct flavors of each region. Kenedy eschews heavy pasta dishes in favor of simple, elegant dishes like porcini risotto and "Little Birds with Polenta." Despite complicated, elegant flavors, the simplicity of the ingredients and Kenedy's careful explanations of complicated maneuvers make these gourmet dishes approachable. Add striking photography of Italy and its dishes to the well-written recipes, and Bocca proves to be a worthy ode to the underappreciated diversity of Italian cuisine. Part travelogue, part food history, part storybook (and part cookbook), Bocca is a delectable addition to any gourmand's bookshelf. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

Discover: A foodie's journey through Italy, region by region.

Bloomsbury, $45, hardcover, 9781608194889

Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant

by Anthony Myint, Karen Leibowitz

Starting as a weekly sandwich stand in a rented taco truck, San Francisco's Mission Street Food (MSF) evolved into a philanthropic restaurant with guest chefs and a burger stand. Like the restaurant itself, the funny, fantastic Mission Street Food defies categorization: part memoir, part cookbook, part manifesto. Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz take turns in the first sections of the book describing their creation of the MSF concept and the transition from food truck to rented restaurant. Next, recipes for MSF signature dishes (including PB&J--pork belly, jicama, cilantro aioli and jalapeño on a buttery flatbread--and the Mission Burger) are clearly described with helpful step-by-step photography. Finally, Myint and Leibowitz round out their quirky take on the food business with a slightly irreverent manual for restaurant success. --Roni K. Devlin, owner of Literary Life Bookstore & More

Discover: An honest, witty and artistic recollection of Mission Street Food's short but adventurous history.

McSweeney's, $30, hardcover, 9781936365159

Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food

by Jacques Pepin

Essential Pepin is a compendium of more than 700 recipes culled from 25 previous cookbooks by the celebrated French chef and teacher Jacques Pepin. The pages are bursting with Pepin's personal favorites, and each dish exemplifies different styles and methods of cooking, along with procedures and techniques that Pepin has simplified over the years. He has always prided himself on blending the pragmatic with elegant sophistication; though he proclaims himself an "old chef," hindsight has enabled him to alter and rethink his vast repertoire.

That adaptability further broadens the appeal of this diverse, no-nonsense cookbook (heavy on text with minimal illustrations). Pepin is old-school and adheres to culinary tradition, but he's realistic enough to know even seasoned home chefs need the option of prepping dishes from scratch or seeking prepackaged shortcuts. An accompanying three-hour, searchable DVD imparts valuable wisdom and techniques Pepin has mastered throughout his career. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A passionate, lively collection of favorite recipes from a celebrated master French chef and teacher.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40, hardcover, 9780547232799

The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day

by Wini Moranville

Long before Julia Child demonstrated boning a duck, Americans loved the idea of French cooking. But many American cooks still see French food as rich, labor-intensive and splurge-worthy--certainly not easy, and not for everyday meals. Moranville draws on her time in France to provide helpful hints and a delicious collection of simplified, lightened-up French recipes.

Organized by course, the chapters of The Bonne Femme Cookbook include many classics, from boeuf bourgignon to Proust's madeleines, but Moranville also creates her own dishes--from duck with raisins and Madeira to a tart showcasing goat cheese and summer tomatoes. She marries her love of French cuisine with innovation and practicality, appealing to busy home cooks and would-be foodies who can't spend all day at the stove. While not all the recipes are quick or light, they all bring the flavors of France to the American kitchen--with fewer calories, fewer dirty dishes and a lot less prep time. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: A sprightly collection of classic French recipes, made simpler, lighter and more accessible for everyday meals

Harvard Common Press, $24.95, hardcover, 9781558327498

Tender: A Cook and his Vegetable Patch

by Nigel Slater

"I grow for the joy it brings," Nigel Slater writes in the introduction to this paean to vegetables. After digging up the terraced lawn of his London house to plant a garden, Slater chronicles his (usually joyful) growing and cooking experiments, illustrating his account with Jonathan Lovekin's beautiful photos.

Twenty-nine vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini, get a turn in the Tender spotlight; Slater keeps cultivation diaries and muses on each vegetable's "reason for being" as he builds a collection of recipes around his beloved produce. Some recipes are simply brief instructions, others are more precise and complex, but all are crafted to showcase each vegetable's natural flavor, texture and essence. Gardeners and foodies alike will enjoy Slater's slow journey through the seasons, from delicate spring greens to hearty fall root vegetables, and his attempts to oust slugs, snails and foxes--who, like Slater himself, enjoy a good vegetable, and are probably there to stay. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: Nigel Slater's lavishly illustrated love letter to vegetables.

Ten Speed Press, $40, hardcover, 9781607740377

Home Made

by Yvette Van Boven

We live in an age of quick and easy. Eight-minute abs and 30-minute meals abound, and for many, cooking from scratch has become a daunting concept. With Home Made, Yvette Van Boven sets out to make it less so, proving that do-it-yourself is, in fact, doable. She starts with step-by-step guides to basic skills like the art of making jam, kneading bread, smoking fish and building an outdoor grill. After these building blocks come variations on each dish and technique. Standards such as smoked pork chops are juxtaposed with more adventurous recipes for ham pie and butternut squash gnocchi. Elegant photography by Oof Verschuren and clever page design make Home Made a delight to read, an invitation to explore and, ultimately, a guide to appreciating the process as much as the product. They say there is nothing that can compare to a home-cooked meal--and with these recipes, you've got the skills to prove it. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

Discover: A how-to guide on the art of cooking from scratch.

Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, $40, hardcover, 9781584799467

Basic to Brilliant, Y'all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company

by Virginia Willis

Fans of Virginia Willis (Bon Appetit, Y'all) love her creative but accessible methods of blending recipes and techniques from the American South with traditional French cuisine to create culinary marriages made in heaven. Willis's version of Grandma's Chicken (poulet au grandmère), in which chicken, potatoes and mushrooms simmer together in a bath of broth, butter and herbs until the smell from the pot has the chef weeping in ecstasy, came out beautifully when tested. Willis adds a fast, helpful tip on making the sauce en beurre for a beautiful shine that's sure to make a grand impression with guests--and with a comforting flavor that may likely leave an even more brilliant impression than its classy appearance.

With the practicality of Julia Child and the warmth of Paula Deen, Willis brings a taste of France to your kitchen and proves that nothing says Southern like Virginia. --Jaclyn Fulwood, graduate assistant, University of Oklahoma Libraries

Discover: 150 delectable recipes fusing Southern and French cuisine that look as impressive as they taste.

Ten Speed, $35, hardcover, 9781607740094

The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries

by Sam Talbot

Sam Talbot, a former competitor on Bravo's Top Chef, has lived with Type I diabetes since childhood. Rather than adhering to the restrictive diets common to diabetics, however, Talbot has dedicated his life and career as a chef to developing diabetes-friendly food that is both healthy and enjoyable. Instead of shying away from sugars or other high-carb foods, Talbot encourages diabetics simply to pay attention to what they eat, and when, and how much, in order to control their blood sugar levels.

From Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes to hearty bowls of udon noodles to a decadent Banana Cream Pudding, Talbot's philosophy shines through on every page of The Sweet Life. It's a perfect balance of medical and nutritional information, delectable recipes and mouth-watering photography. Talbot's advice and recipes are not just for diabetics, either--they will delight anyone looking to eat better and make smarter food decisions without sacrificing health or flavor. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

Discover: A celebrity chef's personal experience with diabetes inspires a sweet collection of healthy recipes.

Rodale, $32.50, hardcover, 9781605290959

Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All with Cocktails, Recipes & Formulas

by Brad Thomas Parsons

One might be forgiven for a bit of skepticism toward a 230-page, indexed book about bitters. Yes, that little bottle currently serving a mostly cosmetic function in bar cabinets the nation over. Yes, 230 pages. Yes, the index is necessary. Because it turns out that you really can write a stylish, engaging, geek-attack-inducing book entirely about that little bottle--at least Brad Parsons certainly can.

The beautiful art in Bitters invites readers to touch, open and browse, and the prose is as intelligent as the photography is beautiful. Whether it's found on the coffee table, in the kitchen or behind the bar, this book incites readers to explore, create and share. Gain a historical perspective, DIY an army of diverse flavors, learn about commercial brands, impress guests with sophisticated cocktails, even churn up the most amazing boozy ice cream imaginable--and when that's all done, wrap it up and let some other lucky soul do the same. --Katherine Montgomery, book (and cocktail) nerd

Discover: Parsons's delectable and impressive guide reveals why the bitters industry is booming.

Ten Speed Press, $24.99, hardcover, 9781580083591

Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets

by Buddy Valastro

Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo's Bake Shop and star of TLC's Cake Boss, has delivered a cookbook stuffed full of recipes for amazing baked treats. From the basic (butter cookies) to the unusual (wheatberry pie) and the traditional (pumpkin pie), Baking with the Cake Boss is full of decadent options. And, of course, there's a huge section dedicated to cakes for all sorts of occasions: from Mother's Day to Thanksgiving to Chanukah, Valastro guides you through making, frosting and decorating spectacular cakes.

Each recipe has clear instructions, ingredient lists and tips for making perfect desserts. Many begin with anecdotes about when Valastro started making them for his bakery, and most include step-by-step pictures as a guide. Baking with the Cake Boss is perfect for fans of Cake Boss, aspiring pastry chefs or anyone who just wants a cute sweet treat. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

Discover: How to make delicious cakes--with Buddy Valastro, star of Cake Boss.

Free Press, $30, hardcover, 9781439183526

The Butch Bakery Cookbook

by David Arrick

David Arrick, owner of New York City's Butch Bakery, knows that trendy cupcakes, with their pink frosting and sparkly toppings, are unfairly skewed toward a female demographic. In The Butch Bakery Cookbook, Arrick shares his recipes for guy-friendly cupcakes boasting bold flavors like chile powder, sugar-glazed bacon and a range of alcoholic beverages that would make a bartender proud.

The from-scratch B-52 (a yellow cupcake soaked in Kahlua and frosted with Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream) and the New Yawk Cream Pie (a chocolate-frosted yellow cupcake with a creamy pudding center that gets its start from a cake mix and canned frosting) both received rave reviews in testing. Husbands, boyfriends and one handyman who lucked into participating raved about the results, or at least gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up with one hand while shoving cupcakes into their mouths with the other.

Embrace gender equality. Nab a copy of The Butch Bakery Cookbook for the baker in your life! --Jaclyn Fulwood, graduate assistant, University of Oklahoma Libraries

Discover: Larger-than-life cupcakes with bold guy (and gal) -friendly flavors.

Wiley, $19.99, hardcover, 9780470930885

Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop

by Meg Ray

Meg Ray, the chef and owner of the pastry shop Miette, has gathered the secrets of her many delectable baked goods into this eponymous cookbook. Every detail of Miette--from its scalloped pages to its pastel colors to its beautiful photographs of luscious baked goods--will charm experienced and novice bakers alike.

Ray explains how to make items as diverse as Lemon Debutante Cake, Chocolate Truffle Tarts and Caramel Corn. Some of the recipes are complicated, with several pages of detailed instructions, while others are simple and require only a few ingredients. The results, though, are all beautiful, combining irresistible flavors with Miette's trademark dainty charm. Each recipe offers both measurements and weights for the ingredients, and a short note explaining how it was developed, allowing the reader to glimpse the behind the scenes work at the pastry shop, and providing alternate options for precise, careful baking to re-create its most popular recipes. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

Discover: A charming cookbook filled with gorgeous photographs of dainty treats.

Chronicle Books, $27.50, hardcover, 9780811875042


Author Buzz

The Wild Card
(A Rivers Wilde Novella)

by Dylan Allen

Dear Reader,

"What if…?" is my favorite question to ask myself when I start writing a book. The answers that Cassie and Leo's story delivered were unexpected and heartwarming. Adding a heist and serendipitous reunion into the mix took my tried and true favorite trope, second chance, to a whole new level. Theirs is a classic case of right person/wrong time. Whether you're a Rivers Wilde newbie or expert, watching them overcome some pretty steep hurdles is a wild, thrilling, feel good ride.

I hope you love every word. xo,

Available on Kobo

AuthorBuzz: 1001 Dark Nights Press: The Wild Card (A Rivers Wilde Novella) by Dylan Allen

1001 Dark Nights Press

Pub Date: 
January 16, 2024


List Price: 
$2.99 e-book


Kids Buzz

Where Do Ocean Creatures Sleep at Night

by Steven J. Simmons and Clifford R. Simmons
illus. by Ruth E. Harper

Dear Reader,

My newest and latest in a three-book series, Where Do Ocean Creatures Sleep at Night?, came from seeing the fascination so many kids have with the ocean and ocean creatures. How do a whale, octopus, dolphin, clownfish, great white shark and so many other undersea animals get their rest?

After all, they need to get their rest and sleep, just like all of us. So dive into this rhyming STEM picture book to encourage a love of nature and the environment--and under the covers for a great bedtime story.

"What do animals do when children are sleeping? Featuring creatures young children are likely to know, this book has the answers....[and] unusual nighttime facts are a plus." --Kirkus

Steve Simmons

KidsBuzz: Charlesbridge: Where Do Ocean Creatures Sleep at Night? by Steven J. Simmons and Clifford R. Simmons, illus. by Ruth E. Harper


Pub Date: 
April 16, 2024


Type of Book:
Picture Book

Age Range: 

List Price: 
$17.99 Hardcover

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