Food & Cooking Book Reviews (page 49)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1997

"This strives to be candid and intimate, yet ultimately its commentary fails to break through the commemorative into the kind of real analysis that would have revealed more of the man behind the movement icon. (105 b&w photos, not seen)"
A useful survey and pictorial of the extraordinary career of the visionary Mexican-American labor leader and human-rights activist, who died in his sleep in 1993 at age 66. Read full book review >
GOOD LAND by Bruce Bair
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 1997

"But given the cruel nature of Bair's father, growing up on a farm never sounded so miserable."
This collection of mostly short, often nastily revealing pieces by journalist Bair on his childhood on a 4,000-acre wheat farm in Kansas reflects poorly on farm life and the midwestern character. Read full book review >

MISS MANNERS BASIC TRAINING by Judith Martin
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

Miss Manners has no tolerance for call-waiting, but answering machines, E-mail, and fax machines—used with consideration and an understanding of basic etiquette—are fine with her. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Useful to those interested in the history of women, cooking, or publishing; but it is Mendelson's obvious interest in her project that makes this a good read. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A winning account of the life of one of America's standard cookbooks, with portraits of the mother and daughter who brought it into millions of homes. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"An air of dissertation pervades this book, drawn as it is form doctoral studies, and Lapsley comes across as dry and formal- -very much like the Bordeaux grape he so appreciates. (map; 23 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
Forget the flowery title, a bit of whimsy from Robert Louis Stevenson. Read full book review >

THE GRAPES OF RALPH by Ralph Steadman
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Effervescent and not too dry."
For the oenophile with a sense of humor: In The Grapes Of Ralph ($35.00; Oct. 1996; 224 pages; ISBN 0-15-100245-2) the wicked cartoonist and illustrator offers a tour of the wine countries of the world and their leading denizens. Read full book review >
WALKING ON WALNUTS by Nancy Ring
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Which explains why this book collapses like a soufflÇ that's been beaten to death. (illustrations by the author, not seen)"
Painter, poet, and pastry chef Ring uses her dual experience as a struggling artist and struggling chef as a basis for this ambitious autobiography, but it is marred by too many themes and unsophisticated writing. Read full book review >
HEAVEN AND EARTH by Steve Wick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 13, 1996

"Storm warnings cloud the North Fork farming forecast, much as they did for Peter Matthiessen's fishers in Men's Lives."
Wick's (Bad Company: Drugs, Hollywood, and the Cotton Club Murder, 1990) elegiac story of the farmers on the North Fork of New York's Long Island, whose centuries-old way of life is approaching a sorry finale. Read full book review >
THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE by Sophie D. Coe
FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 1, 1996

"A carefully researched biography of chocolate as a pleasure and a product. (100 illustrations, not seen)"
The late anthropologist Sophie Coe, who was assisted by her husband, an authority on pre-Columbian civilizations, in the writing of the book, took her culinary history seriously, thank you: This is no chat-fest presented for the benefit of Godiva- gobblers. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 1, 1996

"With civility as the foundation of civilization, Miss Manners evokes a kinder, gentler lifestyle that still packs a (ladylike) punch. (20 b&w line drawings, not seen) (Author tour)"
Here is Dear Miss Manners once again, scolding and shaking her finger at Gentle Readers who fall short in the task of lubricating the increasing, squeaky hinges of social interaction. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 29, 1996

"Kramer is knowledgeable and he writes well, and it is not his fault, though it is Russia's tragedy, that his account tails off into something close to despair. (An excerpt from this book was included in Best American Essays 1994.)"
A vivid personal journey into the question of how Communism ruined farming in the Soviet Union, and an indication that we should not look for improvement any time soon. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: April 1, 1996

"So today does Wendell Berry, alongside whose agrarian essays this intriguing book should be shelved."
An unusually literate work, at once paean and dirge, on the decline of family farming, which also happens to mark ``the end of a historical cycle in America.'' Hanson (The Western Way of War, 1989) is both a professor of Greek and a farmer in the Central Valley of California. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >