Food & Cooking Book Reviews (page 51)

FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 1, 1997

"The food writing isn't quite as nourishing as that of Calvin Trillin, Waverly Root, or A.J. Liebling (to whom Stevens pays appropriate respect); it's more of a lark in the Bertie Wooster mode, and cosmopolitan to a fault."
Stevens, political consultant and author of whimsical travelogues (Malaria Dreams, 1989, etc.), accepts the formidable challenge of dining in all 29 of the Michelin three-star restaurants in Europe on consecutive nights, and lives to tell the story. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1997

"Inevitably, just a bit gaseous. ($30,000 ad/promo; TV satellite tour)"
That guy in the bib overalls who shows up on TV on Sunday mornings offers a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the larger meaning of the comestibles he likes. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 1, 1997

"Many of the foods here are obscure, but this delicious etymological feast will satiate anyone who enjoys the taste of words."
A contributing editor to Allure and the author of A Garden of Words (not reviewed), Barnette uses her background in classical languages to inform and delight the reader by tracing the whimsical manner in which food names found their way to our lexical pantries. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >