Massimo Montanari, Medieval Tastes

There are three things you need to know about Montanari’s Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table; first that this is an academic treatise, that it was translated from the original Italian by Beth Archer Brombert, and that it is a culinary history, rather than a cookbook. That being said,…

Archie Fisher, A Silent Song

I should confess right up front that Archie Fisher is one of my very favorite song writers and performers. It isn’t overstating the case to say Fisher (along with Jean Redpath and NPR’s Fiona Ritchie and Thistle and Shamrock) had a lot to do with my interests in the Child…

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

One of my earliest kitchen memories is my mom — who is a truly excellent cook — sending me to fetch her “Red and white checkered cookbook.” It was easy to find for a little kid who didn’t read yet, because it was exactly as described: A big three-ring binder…

George Greenstein, A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets

The subtitle of George Greenstein’s A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets is Recipes from a New York Baking Legend for Strudel, Stollen, Danishes, Puff Pastry, and More. And the title page adds the names “with Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein and Isaac Bleicher” to that of George Greenstein. This is more than…

Eyewitness Travel Guides, Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland

Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland is one of a series of Eye Witness Travel Guides from DK Inc., better known as Dorling Kindersley. If you are at all familiar with the high quality of Dorling Kindersley books for children and adults, particularly the image-rich Eye Witness Guides, you’ll know what to…

Alison Bechdel, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

I was late discovering Dykes to Watch Out For, and the amazing Alison Bechdel. I heard about Dykes to Watch Out For from my friends, and at first, I thought Lois and Mo were fellow students of the women I met for coffee after our seminars. Instead, they were characters from…

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Gone Girl cover image

A marriage is a foreign country to the people outside of it, and like a foreign country, a marriage has a language all its own. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, tells the story of a marriage gone horribly awry. I’m not going to worry about spoilers in this review, since the book has been…

Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States

  The Opinion is here. In a 5-to-4 vote the Supreme Court decided, as Justice Kennedy put it: These considerations lead to the conclusion that the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of…

Cynthia Swanson, The Bookseller

Set in Denver in the early 1960s, Cynthia Swanson’s The Bookseller pulls us directly and immediately into the world of Kitty Miller. Kitty (never her stuffy given name, Katharyn) is single and 40ish. She lives alone with her cat, loves her parents, owns half of a failing bookstore, and has stopped wondering…

Ken Forkish, Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza

Cover of Ken Forkish's book Flour Water Salt Yeast

Flour Water Salt Yeast is a partially a memoir about how former Silicon Valley technology worker and author Ken Forkish fell in love with artisan bread making, partially a technical manual about making the best bread possible, and partially, a charming easy to follow cook book. The book itself is…

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