Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Classics for a New Age

Three modern-classic cookbooks, two in newly revised forms and one a new gathering of two decades of culinary expertise, will soon be available for your browsing pleasure here at the library. All three are meant to be useful and cook-friendly.

The Silver Spoon, Second Edition Phaidon, 1,500 pages.

The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook America's Test Kitchen, 890 pages.

The Professional Chef, Ninth Edition Wiley, 1,212 pages.


Let Freedom Sing!

Music of the Civil Rights Movement
This is a far-reaching collection of songs by, for or about participants in the civil rights movement. You'll find blues, folk, jazz, gospel, rock, funk, pop, r&b, soul, hip-hop and all the blends and fusions possible among the musical styles. The songs date from the forties all the way to 2008. Let Freedom Sing provides a great reminder about how integral music was to the movement: in the streets, churches, jails, segregated lunch counters as well as the concert halls. The artists read like a who's who of Black (and some White) musicians: Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, John Lee Hooker, James Brown, B.B. King, Bob Marley, Neville Brothers, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Nat King Cole, Big Bill Broonzy, Josh White, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, Otis Redding, the Weavers and a few dozen more. The who's who doesn't include everyone (notable exceptions include Paul Robeson, Sam Cooke, Leadbelly and Miriam Makeba), but then it is only 3 CDs. If you've never heard Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit or Nina Simone singing Mississippi Goddam, you have to check out this set.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sue Recommends Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic by Linda Carroll

Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic is an important book for parents who have student athletes. Traumatic Head Injuries are becoming more commonplace in high school and college athletics and not just for football or basketball players.

I personally have seen the consequences of young athletes being victims of head injuries playing volleyball and lacrosse. The effects are not always apparent and the athlete finishes the game only to have symptoms appear later, the next day, or never. Symptoms may last weeks, months or longer preventing students from completing their coursework and graduating on time. In the meantime, students and parents hold their breath that there will be no permanent brain damage.

Concussion Crisis
presents high school, college and pro athletes' stories. Linda Carroll, a health journalist, also provides the critical information regarding the anatomy and physiology of concussions and concerns of doctors and researchers.

The brain fascinates us all and the health of the brain should never be taken for granted.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mike detects that you'll enjoy Sleuth

Sleuth, with Michael Caine and Lawrence Olivier

I've been dipping my toes into the mystery genre these past few months and my most recent foray was one that I've particularly enjoyed. In Sleuth (originally a Tony Award-winning play by Anthony Shaffer), Michael Caine plays a dapper young man who has wooed the wife of a millionaire detective fiction author, played by Lawrence Olivier. Invited to the author's mansion, the young Casanova is drawn into a game of wits with a man who has made his life out of weaving intricate traps and games. The talents of these two fine actors are on display as the story takes us through a series of intrigues and plays for the upper hand; it's sure to be a crowdpleaser whether you're a mystery fan or just enjoy watching a couple of great actors.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last of the Amazons

Last of the Amazons
By Pressfield, Steven
2002-01 - Wheeler Publishing
9780754018391 Check Our Catalog

The author of the international bestsellers "Gates of Fire and "Tides of War delivers his most gripping and imaginative novel of the ancient world-a stunning epic of love and war that breathes life into the grand myth of the ferocious female warrior culture of the Amazons.
Steven Pressfield has gained a passionate worldwide following for his magnificent novels of ancient Greece, "Gates of Fire and "Tides of War. In "Last of the Amazons, Pressfield has surpassed himself, re-creating a vanished world in a brilliant novel that will delight his loyal readers and bring legions more to his singular and powerful restoration of the past.
In the time before Homer, the legendary Theseus, King of Athens (an actual historical figure), set sail on a journey that brought him into the land of "tal Kyrte, the "free people," a nation of proud female warriors whom the Greeks called "Amazons." The Amazons, bound to each other as lovers as well as fighters, distrusted the Greeks, with their boastful talk of "civilization." So when the great war queen Antiope fell in love with Theseus and fled with the Greeks, the mighty Amazon nation rose up in rage.

"From the Hardcover edition. …More

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Megan suggests: Union Atlantic

Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett

This book, written before the crash of 2008, centers around a bank in Boston and its questionable investments. Young banker Doug Fanning has risen from an impoverished upbringing and is struggling to keep his bank Union Atlantic afloat. Doug has also built himself a McMansion in a Weston/Wellesley-like town on was once conservation land and is embroiled in a conflict with his neighbor, retired schoolteacher Charlotte Graves. Charlotte's brother, Henry, happens to be the president of the New York Federal Reserve, which is keeping a watchful eye on Union Atlantic. Interesting stuff... food for thought and a really well-written book by Wellesley High School grad Haslett.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sue Recommends The Litigators by John Grisham

Grisham returns to the world of tort cases (King of Torts, 2003) and street lawyers (The Street Lawyer, 1998) with his new legal thriller entitled The Litigators. He follows David Zinc, a Harvard Law School graduate, from the elite world of corporate law to the life of a lowly street lawyer. David thought anything had to be better than his job with a large high power law firm until he offers his services to the partners of Finley & Figg, who are basically ambulance chasers.

Figg decides that big money can be found by joining the assault on the much hated and maligned drug industry in a tort case regarding a drug name Krayoxx, a popular cholesterol-reducing drug. That's when David becomes a quick study on being a trial lawyer (when his new bosses begin to drop out of the picture) and decides what he wants to be when he grows up. The ending is a bit unbelievable but this is fiction, right?

The audiobook is read by Dennis Boutsikaris and his narration does not add much to the story. I enjoyed the story in spite of him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rob Recommends You Get What You Pay For

Meet Tony Cassella, the hard-boiled private eye with a none-too-typical resume. He dropped out of Yale Law School, testified against fellow corrections officers, has mob connections and knows who to talk to in the New York political machine. He has troubles with his girlfriend and his mom’s boyfriend, a priest, wants in on Tony’s biggest case. And that case involves proving that Ronald Reagan’s newly appointed attorney-general is corrupt. Corruption runs through this noir novel as if it were one of the main characters. As for Tony, you’ll have to read the book to see if can resist the temptations dangled in front of him and remain true to his principles.

And again, Ruth Reichl

The esteemed food writer and longtime Gourmet magazine editor sums up the prevailing 'eat local' message in a beautiful quote published last Saturday in the Wall Street Journal.

The meal that changed my life was in Crete, when I was about 20, on my honeymoon with my then-husband. We walked up this mountain and at the top there was a hut and an old woman. She sat us on chairs outside and brought us olive oil that she had pressed, a plate of onions she had grown, some olives and some wine that her neighbor had made. Then she went down the hill to go fishing. She came back up and built a fire, and sprinkled the fish she'd caught with herbs from the hillside. We sat there eating this grilled fish and bread and the olive oil, ending with yogurt from her own goats. I had never had food that simple or so much of its place. This was 1970, when you couldn't get good olive oil in America. I thought, This is how I want to eat for the rest of my life.

Ms Reichl's books may be found in our cookbook section on the second floor.

Please share your own food story with us. We look forward to hearing from you!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Megan suggests: Miss New India

Miss New India by Bharati Mukherjee

Commitment to family, sexual ethics, and the position of women in modern India are all touched on in this novel. Anjali Bose runs away from her family -- and from an upcoming arranged marriage -- to work in a call center in Bangalore. It's a brave new world for a single girl in the city.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recipes Remembered is a treasure

Recipes Remembered, A Celebration of Survival by June Hersh, is most definitely not your typical cookbook. It is a journey which takes the reader from one of the most harrowing times in history to the possibility of endurance and triumph through chance, luck, perseverance and personal faith. The recipes and personal stories were gathered from survivors around the map of Europe who fell victim to hatred from Poland, Germany, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Austria, Belgium and France. The 170 recipes are as diverse as the survivors themselves, whose recollections and photographs will touch you in countless ways. With the publication of this special cookbook, Ms. Hersh ensures the legacy of the courageous people who shared their stories with her.