Food & Cooking Book Reviews

BETTING THE FARM ON A DROUGHT by Seamus McGraw
FOOD & COOKING
Released: April 15, 2015

"McGraw discovers that the respectful middle of the road is the most likely place to find a bridge to a sustainable energy future."
Environmental journalist McGraw (The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone, 2011) engages a handful of citizens—scientists and outdoorsmen, conservative and liberal—to gain a sense of our understanding of climate change.Read full book review >
PICNIC IN PROVENCE by Elizabeth Bard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Delectable reading."
A journalist's account of the unexpectedly rich life she and her French husband made together after leaving Paris for a small town in southern France. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A scrumptious pairing of nourishment and familial devotion."
A mother and her two adult daughters explore their unified histories through themes of food, hard work and love. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: March 24, 2015

"A fine addition to the single-issue science genre."
"From tropical rain forests to alpine meadows and arctic tundra, seed plants dominate landscapes and define ecosystems." In fact, they make up more than 90 percent of land flora. Read full book review >
ORCHARD HOUSE by Tara Austen Weaver
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Honest and moving, one woman's initiation into intensive gardening with her mother, which changed a neglected space into something beautiful and bountiful and shifted their relationship as well."
How a novice gardener became a permaculturalist and found community in the process. Read full book review >

EATING VIET NAM by Graham Holliday
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Readers are likely to run out of patience before the author has run out of pages."
A celebration of Vietnamese street food, with some offerings that will make readers squirm as much as the author initially did. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: March 9, 2015

"Provocative though unlikely to reach far beyond the choir box."
A condemnatory look at the factory-farming model that has overpopulated the planet with too many cattle, to the detriment of all involved. Read full book review >
LIFE FROM SCRATCH by Sasha Martin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Poignant, heartwarming and generously filled with delicious recipes."
An award-winning blogger and MFK Fisher scholar's account of how food not only came to define a difficult childhood, but also became the way she was able to heal her past. Read full book review >
BON APPÉTEMPT by Amelia Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"Whether Morris is deconstructing her failed attempts at finding satisfying work, struggling with rocky family relationships or experiencing a culinary failure, she adroitly blends the ingredients of humor and self-reflection."
A refreshing take on growing up and coming to terms with the joys and travails of family, career and navigating the kitchen. Read full book review >
LENTIL UNDERGROUND by Liz Carlisle
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Feb. 1, 2015

"A nimble story about how one man's revolutionary ideas changed the way we eat."
Former country music singer/songwriter and newly minted geography doctorate student Carlisle unearths the secret history of a rogue posse of organic farmers operating deep in rural Montana. Read full book review >
DIRTY CHICK by Antonia Murphy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 22, 2015

"Warm, funny and touching."
An "artsy San Francisco dilettante" tells the story of how she traded her urban existence for a life of "chasing cows…and executing chickens" in rural New Zealand. Read full book review >
TASTY by John McQuaid
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"McQuaid is an enthusiastic writer undisturbed by dead ends, and he provides an entertaining exploration of 'the mystery at the heart of flavor,' which 'has never truly been cracked.'"
"Pleasure is never very far from aversion; this is a feature of our anatomy and behavior. In the brain, the two closely overlap." So writes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist McQuaid (Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms, 2006, etc.) in this provocative investigatory foray into the nature of taste.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >