This Week's Best New Books

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Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule

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Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule

by Michelle Lopez

Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule

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Baking is Michelle Lopez's stress-reliever. In college, she whipped up cupcakes instead of studying. As a financial tech executive, Lopez spent evenings creating confections like Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownies and Magic Dream Lemon Cream Tarts. She shared her concoctions with the readers of her blog, Hummingbird High, twice named by Saveur as a "Best Baking Blog" finalist.

In Weeknight Baking, Lopez shares time-saving secrets, suggested staples, substitutions and tested strategies for turning ... [ Read More » ]

2 of 29
The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food

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The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food

by Alice Hart

The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food

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Beautiful food tastes better. As a food stylist and writer, Alice Hart presents a striking cookbook of beautiful food in The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food

Hart champions simplicity and, following that, flexibility. Her friendly introductions to each section offer more in the way of developing attitudes and tendencies than encouraging strict adherence to her recipes. But the recipes themselves do shine. Standout dishes include Squash Bao, Paneer Corn Cakes with Charred Chile Salsa, ... [ Read More » ]

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South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations

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South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations

by Sean Brock

South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations

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James Beard Award-winner Sean Brock's South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed Heritage and continues his mission to help people "understand that Southern food should be considered among the most revered cuisines of the world... vibrant, diverse, seasonal and evolving." Brock shares favorite classic recipes and modern creations of food that is "both insanely good and nutritious."

What is more classic than that potluck staple, deviled eggs? Brock's get ... [ Read More » ]

4 of 29
Skillet Love: From Steak to Cake: More than 150 Recipes in One Cast-Iron Pan

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Skillet Love: From Steak to Cake: More than 150 Recipes in One Cast-Iron Pan

by Anne Byrn

Skillet Love: From Steak to Cake: More than 150 Recipes in One Cast-Iron Pan

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Food writer Anne Byrn (American Cake) persuasively argues that the cast-iron skillet is "the only pan you'll ever need." Her irresistible collection of nearly 160 recipes that can be made in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet range from tasty appetizers, salads, snacks and sides to one-pot brunches, lunches, dinners and desserts. This versatile skillet sears, roasts, fries, bakes, braises and caramelizes. Flavorful main course recipes include Mexican lasagna, chicken pot pie, skillet-seared shrimp, pan-roasted ... [ Read More » ]

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Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen

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Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen

by Alissa Timoshkina

Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen

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In Salt & Time, Alissa Timoshkina writes with passion and nostalgia about the dishes of her home country of Russia, food "tinted with the stereotypes of the Cold War and obscured by the complexities of contemporary Russian politics."

Thoughtful introductions lead into each recipe, giving Timoshkina's updated versions of classic Russian dishes both historical and personal context. She describes her recipe for borscht as "taking a bit (okay, a lot) of creative license" and "iconoclastic." She offers ... [ Read More » ]

6 of 29
Provence: The Cookbook: Recipes from the French Mediterranean

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Provence: The Cookbook: Recipes from the French Mediterranean

by Caroline Rimbert Craig, Susan Bell, photographer

Provence: The Cookbook: Recipes from the French Mediterranean

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In Provence, Caroline Rimbert Craig's first solo cookbook, she plumbs her own family history in the French Mediterranean, showcasing the food and flavors of Provençal cooking. Beyond offering a collection of recipes, Craig weaves together the history of Provence's landscape, kitchen staples and stories from her generations of family who have foraged, gardened and cooked there--all accompanied by charming photographs of food and the Provence countryside taken by Susan Bell.

She lays out the ... [ Read More » ]

8 of 29
Milk Street: The New Rules: Recipes that Will Change the Way You Cook

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Milk Street: The New Rules: Recipes that Will Change the Way You Cook

by Christopher Kimball

Milk Street: The New Rules: Recipes that Will Change the Way You Cook

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With Milk Street: The New Rules: Recipes that Will Change the Way You Cook, Christopher Kimball (Tuesday Nights) ushers in a new normal: one in which home cooks stop pureeing their pesto; where they steam, rather than boil, their eggs; where they create creaminess with corn kernels; where they bloom their spices.

Kimball presents 75 such "rules," along with more than 200 creative recipes, applying them to delicious dishes from around the globe, like Brazilian Fish Stew, Oaxacan Refried Black Beans, ... [ Read More » ]

9 of 29
Donal's Meals in Minutes: 90 Suppers from Scratch, 15 Minutes Prep

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Donal's Meals in Minutes: 90 Suppers from Scratch, 15 Minutes Prep

by Donal Skehan

Donal's Meals in Minutes: 90 Suppers from Scratch, 15 Minutes Prep

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Listing all the tasty dishes in Irish food writer and photographer Donal Skehan's Meals in Minutes might tempt readers to eat the cookbook itself.

Skehan simplifies delicious meals, building them around a small group of staple ingredients such as garlic, onions, Tabasco and honey. His methods encourage even those who proclaim they don't cook not only to enter the kitchen, but possibly craft their own original dishes. With just one pot, amateur chefs can make mouth-watering dishes like Thai Chicken ... [ Read More » ]

10 of 29
Curry & Kimchi: Flavor Secrets for Creating 70 Asian-Inspired Recipes at Home

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Curry & Kimchi: Flavor Secrets for Creating 70 Asian-Inspired Recipes at Home

by Unmi Abkin, Roger Taylor

Curry & Kimchi: Flavor Secrets for Creating 70 Asian-Inspired Recipes at Home

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In Curry & Kimchi: Flavor Secrets for Creating 70 Asian-Inspired Recipes at Home, Unmi Abkin and Roger Taylor share recipes from their popular restaurant, Coco & the Cellar Bar, Easthampton, Mass., as well as from their home kitchen.

Many of the recipes are inspired by Abkin's Korean and Mexican-American heritage. However, the element that holds the cookbook together is not the flavors used but rather the authors' belief that great meals begin with great sauces. Instead of relegating sauce ... [ Read More » ]

11 of 29
Christmas Feasts and Treats

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Christmas Feasts and Treats

by Donna Hay

Christmas Feasts and Treats

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Australian trusted home cook and international food-publishing marvel Donna Hay takes the fuss out of Christmas cooking, baking and entertaining.

This beautifully photographed and inviting collection pairs traditional recipes alongside others spun with modern styling techniques and time-saving tricks. The Feasts section includes step-by-step guides for inventively cooking all types of protein--turkey, pork, fish, lobster--quick-fix nibbles and sides, including dressed up veggies, savory tarts, crackers ... [ Read More » ]

14 of 29
The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors

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The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors

by Mandy Lee

The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors

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"I'm not selling you a lifestyle; I'm telling you how I evaded one." Unenthused expat Mandy Lee started her "angry food blog" Lady and Pups after she began attacking her depression with attempts at from-scratch pasta. Loathing Beijing as much as she adored New York City, her previous home, Lee turned a tiny kitchen into a refuge and the act of cooking into the art of survival. In essays (and recipes) as hearty and salty as her Ramen Seasoning, Lee revisits the experiences that led her to master delicacies ... [ Read More » ]

15 of 29
Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountaintops

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Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountaintops

by Meredith Erickson

Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountaintops

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The Alps conjure images of craggy mountaintops, thrilling ski slopes and cozy chalets where one may enjoy a hot cup of cocoa or a snifter of brandy. It's high time delicious cuisine is added to the list.

In Alpine Cooking, Meredith Erickson skis her way through the Alps to highlight decadent yet comforting recipes from the mountaintops of Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France. While Erickson features popular and traditional dishes like schnitzel and fondue, dozens of recipes from family-run restaurants, ... [ Read More » ]

16 of 29
Rising: Becoming the First North American Woman on Everest

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Rising: Becoming the First North American Woman on Everest

by Sharon Wood

Rising: Becoming the First North American Woman on Everest

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For more than three decades, Sharon Wood has been a professional speaker, thanks to one single achievement: in 1986, she became the first North American woman to climb to the top of Mount Everest. While she has had other accomplishments over the years, including being a business owner, an internationally certified alpine guide and the first recipient of the Explorers Club's Tenzing Norgay Award for exceptional mountaineering, she has resisted writing a book about her Everest experience, until now. ... [ Read More » ]

17 of 29
The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar's and Everything in Between

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The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar's and Everything in Between

by Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, Mark Oppenheimer

The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar's and Everything in Between

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Not since 1973's The Jewish Catalog has there been a reference book that aimed to cover Jewish life, culture, religion, history, food and "everything in between." That new reference book is The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia, compiled by the creators of the Jewish magazine Tablet and the popular podcast Unorthodox.

For beginners curious about the basics of Judaism, one entry is entitled "Shabbat in Seven Easy Steps." The "Delicatessen" entry, a two-page spread, regales history buffs with the progression ... [ Read More » ]

18 of 29
The Man Who Saw Everything

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The Man Who Saw Everything

by Deborah Levy

The Man Who Saw Everything

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Saul Adler's world is made up of car crashes, camera lenses, jaguars, tinned pineapple and the Beatles. His mother, a Holocaust survivor, died when he was a child, and his father, a Communist, was always a cold and heavy hand. What marks Saul Adler is not his Jewishness or even the tragedy of his life, but his almost freakish beauty, one that draws gazes, lenses and surveillance of every kind. A young professor, Saul is researching cultural resistance to Nazism, which brings him to East Germany in ... [ Read More » ]

19 of 29
Little Weirds

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Little Weirds

by Jenny Slate

Little Weirds

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Judging from the content of Jenny Slate's Little Weirds, the inside of her mind is a fascinating, if unusual, place. In this collage of essays, stories, dreams (both night and day), and pieces that defy easy categorization, the actor and comedian invites readers to pay an extended visit, one that will leave them enlightened, moved and sometimes pleasantly puzzled.

In an assortment this diverse, it's perilous to try to isolate recurring themes. But among the more prominent ones is Slate's often ... [ Read More » ]

20 of 29
The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini

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The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini

by Joe Posnanski

The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini

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What's left to be said about Harry Houdini? Curiosity about the magician's enduring fame drives sports journalist Joe Posnanski's fascinating account of Houdini and the immortal legacy he left. Houdini was unquestionably the most famous magician ever to live, and his life and character have been documented in every way imaginable. Gathered together, all of the biographies published on Houdini might fill a library.

As a man obsessed with Houdini, Posnanski (The Soul of Baseball; Paterno) investigates ... [ Read More » ]

21 of 29
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

by Kevin Noble Maillard, illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

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While Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is recommended for audiences ages three to six, it's undoubtedly a book that will last on shelves well into readers' double digits. Kevin Noble Maillard--co-editor of Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World, Syracuse University law professor and a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band--has effectively written two books for multiple age groups.

The first two-thirds is an affecting picture book that features family and friends gathering, creating ... [ Read More » ]

22 of 29
Homerooms & Hall Passes

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Homerooms & Hall Passes

by Tom O'Donnell

Homerooms & Hall Passes

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Meet Devis the thief, Thromdurr the barbarian, Sorrowshade the gloom elf assassin, Vela the Valiant paladin and Albiorix the apprentice wizard--your typical group of middle school-aged Bríandalörians. They take on campaigns "thwarting evil. Righting wrongs. Closing infernal gates opened by demented cultists"--you know, the usual. As a break from the quests, the crew plays its favorite game, Homerooms & Hall Passes (H&H), the "role-playing game of nonadventure... set in the fictional ... [ Read More » ]

23 of 29
Caspian Finds a Friend

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Caspian Finds a Friend

by Jacqueline Véissid, illus. by Merrilees Brown

Caspian Finds a Friend

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In Jacqueline Véissid (Ruby's Sword) and Merrilees Brown's Caspian Finds a Friend, Caspian lives in a lighthouse "surrounded by a cold gray-blue sea." Every night the lonely boy "casts his light out into the darkness, searching... but no one arrives, just the sea and the skies." One day, Caspian decides to take his happiness into his own hands and launches a plea into the ocean by way of the proverbial message in a bottle. "Days sink into weeks, weeks into months. He waits and waits, his hopes ... [ Read More » ]

24 of 29
How to Travel

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How to Travel

by The School of Life, Alain de Botton, editor

How to Travel

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Combining elements of an activity book, journal and philosophical treatise, How to Travel reimagines the inspirational travel guide. It appropriately builds upon series editor Alain de Botton's ideas in books such as The Art of Travel, about daydreaming of holidays and appreciating mementos.

How to Travel first considers the destination, discussing exoticism, to sun or not to sun, and emotional resonance. It also unpacks travel related to families and romantic relationships--the layers of meaning, ... [ Read More » ]

25 of 29
The Bromance Book Club

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The Bromance Book Club

by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club

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It takes two people to fall in love, but it also "takes two people to ruin a relationship." Such is the case for Gavin Scott--a second baseman for the Nashville Legends baseball team, who suffers from a stuttering problem--and his loyal, devoted wife, Thea, the mother of their young twin girls. The couple married when Thea became pregnant. What started as a happy union settled, over time, into a sexless routine as "the daily necessities of dealing with the kids and the house and his game schedule" ... [ Read More » ]

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The Book of Lost Saints

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The Book of Lost Saints

by Daniel José Older

The Book of Lost Saints

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Marisol Aragones, the youngest of three sisters, disappeared during the Cuban Revolution, caught up in the violence between warring factions of soldiers and resistance cells. Half a century later, her spirit--never quite able to rest--begins visiting her nephew, Ramón, a shaggy gentle giant who works at a New Jersey hospital by day and spins records at a local club by night. In The Book of Lost SaintsDaniel José Older (Dactyl Hill SquadShadowhouse Fall) unfolds ... [ Read More » ]

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The Book of Forgotten Authors

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The Book of Forgotten Authors

by Christopher Fowler

The Book of Forgotten Authors

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"Absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you're dead," begins Christopher Fowler's The Book of Forgotten Authors. It is a journey through once-popular literature that has, for one reason or another, disappeared from print, memory or both. Authors can be "ubiquitous, influential and massively successful only to disappear within their own lifetimes," but why?

Pamela Branch, compared favorably with Evelyn Waugh by critics of the time, wrote what Fowler calls "bizarre, deliciously ... [ Read More » ]

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Blue Moon

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Blue Moon

by Lee Child

Blue Moon

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Jack Reacher is on a bus, minding his own business as usual and headed nowhere in particular, when he sees someone who looks as though he needs Reacher's particular brand of help. Reacher follows the elderly man, Aaron Shevick, off the bus and saves him from a mugging. But when it's clear the man and his wife are being preyed upon by a local loan shark, Reacher decides to stick around to help rescue what little is left of their livelihood.

Two gangs--an Albanian and a Ukrainian one--control the town ... [ Read More » ]

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The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

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The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan

The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

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Where lies the divide between an illness in the brain and an illness in the mind? Is there a divide? As famed Stanford psychology professor David Rosenhan asked, "If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them?"

These questions anchor Susannah Cahalan's The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness, and the stakes involved in answering these questions are high. As Cahalan puts it, the ability to answer has wide-reaching effects: "from how we medicate,
... [ Read More » ]

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