An idiosyncratic cookbook with a few delicious recipes and a lot of inspirational talk.




A debut cookbook blends motivational words with vegan recipes.

For Karic, cooking is more than simply preparing a meal, so it’s not surprising that this is more than a cookbook. Food, health, and lifestyle inform each other, creating a cycle that defines who we are. “When we return to natural foods, we return to our natural bodies. Food is alive. Everything we eat—vegetables, grains, meat or fish—has energy. It’s alive (or once was) and I truly believe that this energy keeps on giving.” Each section offers not only recipes but a brief essay on what that meal can or should mean as part of the eater’s day. Whether it involves her Tofu Scramble or Thick Chocolate and Banana Almost-Ice-Cream Smoothie, it’s also “a time when we open up to the abundance of the universe.” Certain dishes are best enjoyed with family (vegan lasagna), friends (Pizza Fantastico), children (Cashew Nut Butter Cups), or that special someone (Broccoli and Courgette Spaghetti with Sexy Saffron). Interspersed throughout are pages of “gift cards” bearing inspirational messages that can be cut out and given to dinner party guests or used for personal motivation. The author’s personality and spiritualism are more pronounced than is usual in cookbooks, and a laissez faire attitude prevails. “The quantities are just suggestions,” Karic admits. “I never do the same thing twice in the kitchen. I don’t believe in exact quantities.” Some may find Karic’s dreamy language or the relatively small number of recipes (about 30 for a book more than 120 pages long) to be off-putting. The dishes she includes, however—almost all of which are vegan—do sound quite good and are simple to follow. The layout is attractive and colorful, reflecting the author’s stress-free, it’ll-turn-out-fine ethos. The evocations of God and general New Age-y vibe may limit the appeal of this volume, but it isn’t impossible to imagine this book as a gift for those who need a bit of love in their diets and positive energy in their kitchens.

An idiosyncratic cookbook with a few delicious recipes and a lot of inspirational talk.

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-982230-96-8

Page Count: 124

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2020

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.



Self-help guide for diabetes sufferers, mostly in question-and-answer format, with an emphasis on helping racial and ethnic minority diabetics.

Coleman is a pharmacist with a doctorate in her specialty, Gavin a Ph.D. and M.D. Aside from acknowledgments and a foreword signed by Gavin alone, their voices and expertise are indistinguishable, offering lucid, simple solutions for diabetes patients. Gavin relates watching his great-grandmother endure debilitating pain as a result of diabetes while he visited her as a youngster. He remembers hearing adults mention that sugar killed her, and he wondered how something that tasted sweet could cause so much harm. As an adult, he realized that his great-grandmother's affliction could be controlled through treatment. The authors focus on Type 2 diabetes, the most common form in minority populations. An estimated 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, with perhaps 5 million unaware of their situation. About 11 percent of U.S. diabetics are African-American, and about 8 percent are Latino. The question-and-answer format begins with an overview section about diabetes, with an emphasis on risk factors. Section Two covers management of the disease, including nutrition, exercise, blood-testing, oral medications and insulin use. In addition, the authors continually recommend smoking cessation, as well as instructing patients on the readiness of self-treatment. Section Three explains the complications—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease—that could arise if the condition remains untreated or treated ineffectively. The questions in all of the sections are worded simply, and the answers are usually free of medical jargon. Though the sudden shifts in tone and voice are occasionally jarring, the writing remains clear enough to distill the facts. The real downside here, though: patronizing, laughable illustrations that degrade the overall product.

Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2004

ISBN: 0-9746948-0-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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