Food & Cooking Book Reviews (page 50)

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
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 >

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 >
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 >
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 >

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 >
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 >
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 >
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"This testimonial to the capacity of the human spirit to resist, to endure, and eventually to overcome oppression may well prove to be a key document of South African history. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A sprawling biography of one of the people whom history usually forgets: an illiterate black South African sharecropper who lived out his days under apartheid. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 5, 1996

Portrait of the actor as a young gourmand. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 15, 1995

"Like a drunken spree: not without its pleasures, but sloppy and apt to lead to misunderstandings. (15 b&w photos, not seen)"
The meaning of mixed drinks, served by pop culture historian Lanza with a twist when it might better have been offered neat. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 26, 1995

"The Stork and the Plow is a good place to start."
The Ehrlichs, older and less doctrinaire than in their Population Explosion (1990) days, are guardedly hopeful that resources (the plow) can sustain population gains (the stork) in the century ahead. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >