Archive for the ‘Cookbooks’ Category


Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Libraries will soon have an alternative to the five-volume, $625 James Beard Cookbook of the YearModernist Cuisine. Yesterday, author Myhrvold announced that the team will release a new book this fall titled Modernist Cuisine at Home (The Cooking Lab, $140, 10/8/12; like the first book, it comes with a separate “kitchen manual,” printed on washable, water-proof paper). The announcement describes the book as providing “less complex recipes that require less expensive equipment.” 400 of them are new to this edition.

On the news, the book entered Amazon’s sales rankings at #126.

Demonstrating that it is aimed at the home cook, the cover shows a hamburger (referred to as “The 30-hour cheeseburger” by the New York Times).

The new book will feature many of the amazing cutaway photos from the first book. Last year, Myhrvold spoke  at the TED conference about how those were made  (they’re not Photoshopped, they’re machine shopped).

2012 James Beard Awards

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The big winner in this year’s James Beard Cookbook Awards is a big book; Modernist Cuisine was named the Cookbook of the Year, as well as winner in the  Cooking from a Professional Point of View category. Just before the announcement, several publications, including the Wall Street Journal‘s SpeakEasy blog, covered the news that, despite its size (five volumes, 47 lbs) and cost ($450), it’s sold over 45,000 copies (a check of WorldCat reveals that few of those sales were to public libraries).

Below is the list, with book trailers where available.

2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

Cookbook of the Year
Modernist Cuisine, by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, (The Cooking Lab)

Cookbook Hall of Fame
Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking (RH/Vintage) and More Home Cooking (Harper Perennial)

American Cooking 
A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchenby Hugh Acheson
(RH/Clarkson Potter)

Baking and Dessert
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, by Jeni Britton Bauer, (Workman/Artisan)

Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas, by Brad Thomas Parsons, (RH/Ten Speed Press)

Cooking from a Professional Point of View 
Modernist Cuisine., by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, (The Cooking Lab)

General Cooking
Ruhlman’s Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman. (Chronicle Books)

Focus on Health
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchenby Heidi Swanson, (RH/Ten Speed Press)

The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert, (HarperCollins/Ecco)

Notes from a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession, Artist/Photographer: Jeff Scott, (Tatroux)

Reference and Scholarship
Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880-1920, by Andrew P. Haley
(The University of North Carolina Press)

Single Subject 
All About Roasting, by Molly Stevens, (W.W. Norton & Company)

Writing and Literature
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chefby Gabrielle Hamilton, (Random House)

New Title Radar: April 23 – 29th

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Next week, Stephen King returns with a surprise installment in the Dark Tower series that supposedly ended in 2004, and Jonathan Franzen returns with a new essay collection. Meanwhile, British author Rosamond Lupton follows up on her hit debut with a tearjearker thriller, and Sandra Dallas makes her debut by exploring a dark chapter in Mormon history.

In nonfiction, President Obama’s half-sister releases a memoir as does Anna Quindlen and a book about the House of Representatives is set to grab headlines.

Watch List

True Sisters by Sandra Dallas (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) is a work of historical fiction about four women, recruited to Mormonism with Brigham Young’s promise of a handcart to wheel across the desert to Salt Lake City, who help each other survive what turns out to be a harrowing journey. Kirkus says, “readers enticed by the HBO program Big Love will be particularly interested in the origins of this insular community. This fact-based historical fiction, celebrating sisterhood and heroism, makes for a surefire winner.”

Rising Star

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton (RH/Crown) is the UK author’s followup to Sister, her popular debut. This one is narrated by Grace, a mother whose spirit hovers above her brain-dead body in the hospital after she rescues her 17-year-old daughter Jenny from a school fire set by an arsonist, while her sister-in-law leads the police investigation. LJ calls it “a wonderful mix of smart thriller with tear-provoking literature; a fine blend of Jodi Picoult and P.D. James.”

Usual Suspects

The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel by Stephen King (S&S/Scribner; Simon & Schuster Audio) adds a short, eighth installment to the Dark Tower series that appeared to end in 2004. Largely a flashback to hero Roland Deschain’s gunslinger days, it can stand alone or fit between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. Kirkus says, “If it weren’t for the profanity which liberally seasons the narrative, it could pass as a young adult fantasy, a foul-mouthed Harry Potter (with nods toward The Wizard of Oz and C.S. Lewis). It even ends with a redemptive moral, though King mainly concerns himself here with spinning a yarn.”

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick (Penguin/Putnam; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is a paranormal historical romance featuring an undercover psychic investigator and fiction writer who finds herself fleeing from an assassin for the second time – and into the arms of a man who may be far more dangerous. LJ raves: “Quick infuses her own addictive brand of breathless, sexy adventure with dashes of vengeance, greed, and violence and a hefty splash of delectable, offbeat humor.”

Young Adult

Rebel Fire: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins, Book 2 by Andrew Lane (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Young Listeners) pits 14-year-old Sherlock Holmes against assassin John Wilkes Booth, who is apparently alive and well in England, and mixed up with Holmes’s American tutor Amyus Crowe. Kirkus says, “abductions, frantic train rides, near-death experiences and efforts of [Holmes and] friends to save one another increase suspense with each chapter. A slam-bang climax and satisfying conclusion will please readers while leaving loose threads for further volumes.”


Farther Away: Essays by Jonathan Franzen ((Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio) gathers essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, including his account of dispersing some of David Foster Wallace’s ashes on the remote island of Masafuera, excerpted in the New Yorker. Kirkus says, “Franzen can get a bit schoolmarmish and crotchety in his caviling against the horrors of modern society, and he perhaps overestimates the appeal of avian trivia to the general reader, but anyone with an interest in the continued relevance of literature and in engaging with the world in a considered way will find much here to savor. An unfailingly elegant and thoughtful collection of essays from the formidable mind of Franzen, written with passion and haunted by loss.”

And Then Life Happens: A Memoir by Auma Obama (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) is a memoir by President Obama’s half-sister, who was born a year before her brother to Barack Obama Sr.’s first wife, Kezia. Auma’s meeting with her brother in Chicago in 1984 “marks the brightest moment in this eager-to-please work,” according to Kirkus, “and paved the way for his subsequent trips to Kenya and warmly unfolding relationship with his African family.”

My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir by Garry Marshall (RH/Crown Archetype; Random House Large Print; Random House Audio) expands on film and television producer Marshall’s 1997 memoir, Wake Me When It’s Funny, but Kirkus complains that Marshall “isn’t very funny. Or at least this book isn’t. Nor is it serious, mean, scandalous or particularly revelatory. It’s just nice. Marshall has gotten along fine with some difficult actors–including his sister, Penny, and the beleaguered Lindsay Lohan–and has apparently remained friends with everyone with whom he has ever worked…This is a Fudgsicle of a showbiz memoir.”

Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It by Amy Atlas (Hyperion Books) interwines baking and crafting, showing home cooks how to make beautiful sweets, based on the author’s award-winning blog, Sweet Designs.

Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, Robert Draper, (S&S), is by the author of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. This one is described by the publisher as “a revealing and riveting look at the new House of Representatives.” No pre-pub reviews indicate it’s embargoed. It will be featured on many news shows next week, including NPR’s Weekend Edition, CBS This Morning, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen (RH/Crown; RH Large Print; BOT Audio) will, of course, be featured on many shows next week, including CBS This Morning and The Charlie Rose Show (PBS). An NPR Fresh Air interview is in the works.

New Title Radar: March 12 – 18

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Next week, Lyndsay Faye‘s historical novel about a serial killer in 1845 New York, The Gods of Gotham, builds on her breakout debut, while Mark Allen Smith‘s debut thriller The Inquisitor features a professional torturer who unexpectedly breaks character. There are also two notable magical realist novels: Tiffany Baker‘s The Gilly Salt Sisters and Heidi Julavit‘s The Vanishers. And in nonfiction, Marilynne Robinson returns with an essay collection about her Christian faith and “Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond delivers a new recipe collection.

Watch List

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn Books; audio from Dreamscape is also downloadable from OverDrive) is set in 1845 New York, where an officer in the newly organized police force, encounters a blood-soaked girl who leads him to evidence of an anti-Irish serial killer at work. Library Journal raves, “vivid period details, fully formed characters, and a blockbuster of a twisty plot put Faye in a class with Caleb Carr. Readers will look forward to the sequel.” PW adds, “this one “improves on her impressive debut, Dust and Shadow.”

The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; Thorndike Press) follows two sisters whose family has always harvested salt and who that may or may not have magical powers over their Cape Cod community, and the wealthy bachelor who forces his way into their lives. LJ says, “fans of Baker’s acclaimed The Little Giant of Aberdeen County won’t be disappointed with this quirky, complex, and original tale. It is also sure to enchant readers who enjoy Alice Hoffman and other authors of magical realism.”

The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith (Macmillan/ Holt; Macmillan Audio) is a thriller about a professional torturer in the “information retrieval” business, who instills fear rather than pain and has a gift for recognizing when he hears the truth. But this time, he must interrogate a 12-year-old boy, whom he decides to protect. LJ says “this is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. But Geiger, who’s seeing a psychiatrist and suffers disabling migraines, is a fascinating protagonist with a revealing backstory. A compelling debut thriller that blurs the lines between the good and bad guys.”

Literary Favorite

The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits (RH/Doubleday; Audio, Dreamscape Media) is set at an elite school for psychics, where a young student surpasses her troubled mentor, unleashing much wrath, in this novel (after The Uses of Enchantment) by the editor of the literary magazine The Believer. LJ calls it “reminiscent of Arthur Phillips’s The Egyptologist: clever, humorous, with supernatural elements. While one can easily get confused about what is real and what is imagined, readers who surrender to the narrative may be rewarded with rich insights about losing a parent.”

Usual Suspects

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Wheeler Publishing; MacMillan Audio) focuses on a just-married woman whose angry new stepdaughter is determined to undermine her, and what motherhood truly means. LJ says, “Green is at her finest with this compelling novel. Deeper, more complicated, and more ambitious than her previous books, it will keep readers on edge as they wait to see how these tense family dynamics play out.”

Deep Fathom by James Rollins (HarperCollins Morrow; Harperluxe) finds ex-Navy SEAL Jack Kirkland surfacing from an aborted salvage mission to find the United States on the brink of a nuclear apocalypse.

Young Adult

Infamous(Chronicles of Nick Series #3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Macmillan Audio) follows the further adventures of teenager Nick Gautier, whose first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him. He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, as well as divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive and keep a girlfriend so hard, let alone survival? Kenyon’s books and fans keep mounting: there are 23 million copies of her books in print in over 30 countries,

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls Series #5) by Ally Carter (Hyperion Books; Brilliance Corporation) is the latest installment in the popular spy-girl series, in which Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed since she left the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family, and her memory is a black hole.

Starters, Lissa Price, (RH/Delacorte Young Readers; Listening Library) is a new entry in the crowded field of YA dystopian novels. This one imagines a world in which teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. Kirkus wasn’t impressed with the writing, but predicted, “twists and turns come so fast that readers will stay hooked.” In its spring preview, the L.A. Times called it “the next, best entry” in the genre. It comes with a book trailer that makes you wonder how quickly it will be snapped up by Hollywood.


When I Was a Child I Read Books:  Essays by Marilynne Robinson (Macmillan/FSG) is a new collection that returns to her major themes: the role of faith in modern life, the inadequacy of fact, and the contradictions inherent in human nature. Kirkus says, “Robinson is a splendid writer, no question–erudite, often wise and slyly humorous (there is a clever allusion to the birther nonsense in a passage about Noah Webster). Articulate and learned descriptions and defenses of the author’s Christian faith.”

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond (HarperCollins/Morrow) intersperses recipes with photographs of the author’s life on her ranch. Kirkus says, “some readers may delight in Drummond’s down-home way of speaking directly to the reader, while others may find the interaction a bit snarky and annoying. A collection of basic recipes to guarantee a full belly and an empty plate.”

Lawrence Lessig Coming to The Daily Show

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Lawrence Lessig, best known to librarians for his work on copyright, also founded (previously, Fix Congress First!), a web site aimed at reducing the influence of money on politics. His latest book is Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–And a Plan to Stop It(Hachette/Twelve, Oct). He will appear on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday.

On a quite different note, Food Network host, Anne Burrell (Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Worst Cooks in America) and author of Cook Like a Rock Star: 125 Recipes, Lessons and Culinary Secrets (RH/Clarkson Potter, Oct) appears on the show tonight.

On Tuesday, Comedy Central’s Colbert Report features journalist Mark Whitaker, author of My Long Trip Home, (S&S, Oct), a memoir that examines his parent’s lives and marriage. Whitaker describes the marriage as “doubly scandalous;” they were not only an interracial couple in the 1950’s, but the relationship began when Whitaker’s white mother was his African-American father’s professor at Swarthmore. Below, Whitaker describes the book.

NYT Notable Cookbooks

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The world’s priciest cook book, Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold (The Cooking Lab, $625) is one of 19 titles on the New York Times list of the year’s most notable cookbooks. The annotation states, “The recipes are likely to drive home cooks mad, but the photography is both revolutionary and museum-worthy.”

Not everything is out of reach, however; it explains how to create cappuccino art.

It’s in six volumes, so it’s more like an encyclopedia than a single cook book. As we noted earlier, some libraries have decided to buy it precisely because it’s so expensive, and thus out of reach for many of their customers.

The first printing sold out, but it is now back in stock at wholesalers.

PEOPLE Best Cookbooks

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

There’s several reasons to pick up the 12/28 special double issue of People magazine. In addition to 2011’s Sexiest Man Alive (Bradley Cooper), dozens of other hunks are featured (click here for “100 Sexy Men in 1 Minute“). Even more mouth-watering are the “Best of the Fall Cookbooks” in the Books section, which confines itself to just six titles:

The Family Meal, Ferran Adrià, Phaidon —  the chef  known for bravura cooking (like the “liquid olive,” which he created and many have copied) here address the more mundane, but not necessarily easy, like how to poach an egg.

The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks, Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs, Morrow/HarperCollins — Hesser started after she realized from her work on the  NYT Cookbook, that some of the best recipes come from home cooks. The cookbook rounds up the winners from the site’s contests.

Lidia’s Italy in AmericaLidia Matticchio Bastianich, Knopf/RH — the celebrity chef moves from Italian to Italian American cooking.

Martha’s Entertaining, Martha Stewart, Clarkson Potter/RH– her first book, pubbed in 1982 was simply titled Entertaining. It launched an empire.

Momofuku Milk Bar, Christina Tosi with intro by David Chang, Clarkson Potter/RH– desserts from David Chang’s pastry chef.

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch — Over 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods, Jennifer Reese, Free Press/S&S — what a concept. After losing her job, Reese decided it was time to figure out how to save money by doing more herself. She discovered that some things are better to buy than to make and vice versa. Surprisingly, she says that bagels can be easily made at home (and, given the quality of many store bought bagels, that idea is appealing).

New Title Radar – Week of Oct. 10

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Next week, look out for 80-year-old Pakistani debut novelist and international publishing discovery Jamil Ahmad, plus new novels from Jeffrey Eugenides and Allan Hollinghurst. In nonfiction, there are memoirs from Harry Belafonte and Ozzie Osbourne, and a fresh look at the Jonestown massacre.

Attention Grabber

via @PeterLattman

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print). Visitors to Times Square may be startled by the unfamiliar phenomenon of a giant billboard featuring an author. Pictured is Jeffrey Eugenides, in full stride, a la the Marlboro Man. Anticipation is high for the release on Tuesday of his new book, The Marriage Plot  (FSG), the first since his 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex. Even Business Week gives it an early look. Set during the 1980s recession, it follows three disillusioned college students caught in a love triangle. The Los Angeles Times compares it favorably to Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, calling it “sweeter, kinder, with a more generous heart. What’s more, it is layered with exactly the kinds of things that people who love novels will love.” Michiko Kakutani says in the NYT, “No one’s more adept at channeling teenage angst than Jeffrey Eugenides. Not even J. D. Salinger” and NPR interviewed the author on Wednesday. Holds are heavy in most libraries.

Watch List

The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad (Riverhead; 10/13) is a series of fictional sketches about a family on the harsh border region between Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan that has become a literary sensation in Pakistan and has received positive coverage in the UK. The author is a Pakistani writer who is now 80 years old, and was engaged in welfare work in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas for decades. According to a Los Angeles Times interview, Penguin India picked up the book in 2008 after  it was submitted for a contest, 37 years after London publishers had originally rejected it.  U.S. trade reviews are mixed, with PW calling it a “gripping book, as important for illuminating the current state of this region as it is timeless in its beautiful imagery and rhythmic prose,” while Kirkus says it’s “fascinating material that’s badly in need of artistic shaping.”

Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst (Knopf; Random House Audio) is a social satire about the legacy of a talented and beautiful poet who perishes in WWI, in the vein of E.M. Forster and Evelyn Waugh – written by the 2004 Booker prize winner for the Line of Beauty. The Washington Post says it “could hardly be better,” and PW calls it “a sweet tweaking of English literature’s foppish little cheeks by a distinctly 21st-century hand.”

Usual Suspects

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central; Hachette Audio; Grand Central Large Print) explores the decades of fallout caused by a misguided high school romance.

Snuff (Discworld Series #39) by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins) brings back fan favorite Sam Vimes, the cynical yet extraordinarily honorable Ankh-Morpork City Watch commander as he faces two weeks off in the country on his wife’s family’s estate. There are more than 65 million copies of the series out there.

Young Adult

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Mass Market; Trade Paper) is back in a movie tie-in edition, in advance of the film opening November 18. Beginning Nov. 1, theaters will feature “Twilight Tuesday” showings of the entire series, including new  interviews with the cast and behind the scenes footage.

The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Cotta Vaz (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


My Song: A Memoir by Harry Belafonte and Michael Shnayerson (Knopf; Random House Audio; Random House Large Print ) is the memoir of the music icon and human rights activist.




Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy: Advice from Rock’s Ultimate Survivor by Ozzy Osbourne and Chris Ayres (Grand Central; Hachette Audio) is a humorous memoir mixed with dubious medical advice.


Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam by Lewis Sorley (Houghton Mifflin) argues that much of the fault for losing the Vietnam War lies with General William Westmoreland. Kirkus says, “The general’s defenders will have their hands full answering Sorley’s blistering indictment.”

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres (Free Press) follows the experiences of five Peoples Temple members who went to the Jonestown farm in Guyana to sacrifice their lives to the vision of a zealous young preacher. Scheeres draws on thousands of recently declassified FBI documents and audiotapes, as well as rare videos and interviews. PW says, “Chilling and heart-wrenching, this is a brilliant testament to Jones’s victims.”

Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible: The New Classic Guide to Delicious Dishes with More Than 300 Recipes by Paula Deen and Melissa Clark (Simon & Schuster) is a collection of Southern recipes. PW says it’s “not quite as comprehensive as it could be, [but] certainly an honorable addition to the field.”

Cookbook of the Year, 2011

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The International Association of Culinary Professionals named Around My French Table by Dore Greenspan  (HMH) the Cookbook of the Year earlier this month.

Winning in the American category was The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern (Random House).

The full list of winners and finalists is available here.

James Beard Cookbook Awards

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Diana Kennedy’s Oaxaca al Gusto (U. of Texas Press), was named the Best Cookbook of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in an award ceremony on Friday night in New York.

In General Cooking, the winner is Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cook Book: Classic Recipes for a New Century,”

Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking (Scribner, originally published in 1984; revised edition in 2004) was placed in the Cookbook Hall of Fame.

The other winners are listed here; all the nominees are here.

Why Buy a $625 Cookbook?

Friday, May 6th, 2011

According to WorldCat, very few public libraries have bought Modernist Cuisine, despite the heavy media attention (the NYT, The New Yorker, NPR, Time, even Popular Science) and a starred review from Booklist.

But why would they? It retails for $625, library budgets are strained, and the book features cooking tools and techniques only available to professionals.

One library did buy it and recently explained that decision to the local press. The San Francisco Public Library ordered two copies; one for reference, one to circulate from the main library, and are considering a third for the branches. Why? Public demand, Mark Hall, the library’s cookbook buyer, tells the San Francisco Weekly. He also points out that the price tag is not for a single book, but six volumes that will be circulated individually. Does he fear theft? Not really, says Mark, “Cookbook readers seem to be a pretty responsible group.”

One benefit; the library got good press for the decision. And, at a time when people are obsessed with digital books, they are giving the public access to a physical book that shows off the ultimate in modern printing technology (Booklist says, “Stunning, dramatic color photographs transform every page into a visual banquet”). Even though some of the cooking techniques may be beyond the home cook, as Time magazine says, “no serious student of food doubts that it will stand alongside Escoffier as one of the defining cookbooks in history.”

Modernist Cuisine has sold out its initial print run and is now going back to press. Because of the the intricate printing process, it will be a while before it is back in stock at wholesalers.

Most-Ordered Upcoming Cookbooks

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Have we caught your attention with these covers?

They’re a just a few of the cookbooks you can look forward to in the coming months, from the Edelweiss list of  the cookbooks most-ordered by independent booksellers. Edelweiss produces online catalogs for publishers (a few publishers are not on the system, such as S&S, so their titles are not included). Many independent booksellers use Edelweiss for ordering.

Earlier, we posted the Edelweiss most-ordered fiction and nonfiction lists.

Full cookbook list below, after the jump.


Best Cookbooks 2010 Mashup

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Librarians aren’t the only ones in the best books mashup business. The Huffington Post has put together a slide show of the Best Cookbooks for Giving. Each had to be chosen by at least two of  eight sources (four got by with just one pick — from the Huffington Post’s own Food Editors).

We’re pleased to see Brooklyn well-represented. The Frankies Spuntino’s cookbook (it’s by two Frankies and “spuntino” means “a little snack” in Italian), from EarlyWord‘s neightborhood restaurant, came in with 5 picks:

The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual
Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, Peter Meehan
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Artisan – (2010-06-14)
ISBN / EAN: 1579654150 / 9781579654153

And, slightly further afield, but within walking distance of EarlyWord headquarters, the bakery Baked got two picks for its innovative approach to American standards in Baked Explorations. Below, the author/owners talk about a recipe they picked up while touring for their first book:


Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito
Retail Price: $29.95
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1584798505 / 9781584798507

New View of Julia Child

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Next week, a new window opens on the Julia Child legend, with As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, edited by Joan Reardon, a collection of Child’s correspondence with her close friend and unofficial literary agent. The two women first encountered each other in 1952, when DeVoto responded to Child’s fan letter to her husband after reading an article he wrote about knives, and became soul mates as Childs was writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking (DeVoto is portrayed in the film Julie & Julia by Deborah Rush).

Entertainment Weekly gives it a “B”: “While their conversations can drag a bit — weather, health, and politics get too much space — the book is an absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship.”

So far, library holds are in line with modest orders at libraries we checked – but that may change as more media arrives.

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – (2010-12-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0547417713 / 9780547417714

Usual Suspects On Sale Next Week

Rescue: A Novel by Anita Shreve (Little, Brown) follows a paramedic worried that his daughter is becoming an alcoholic, like his troubled ex-wife. Library Journal says, “a solid read, though not the author’s most compelling or dazzling work. Excellent fodder for book clubs; there is plenty to discuss in the protagonists’ motivations, decisions, and characterization.”

Of Love and Evil by Anne Rice (Knopf) is the second entry in the supernatural Songs of the Seraphim series, involving a divine vigilante dispensing justice in Renaissance Italy. Kirkus says, “The plot’s intense; equally so are Rice’s meditations, while never breaking the seamlessness of the story line, on the nature of love and evil. A bullet of a book—and an absolute bull’s eye.”

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell (Putnam) is the 18th novel with detective Kay Scarpetta.

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (Twelve) finds a literary investigator caught up in a murder case. Library Journal says, “constant switching of narrators can be jarring, but Moore does an excellent job of making his characters and settings feel real, using his thorough knowledge of the Holmes stories to good effect.”

Clouds Without Rain by P. L. Gaus (Plume) is an Indie Next Pick for December that won bookseller praise for its slowly unravelling mystery set in Amish country, “with a good many surprises along the way. Another excellent entry in this series.”

NPR’s Best Cookbooks 2010

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

One of EarlyWord‘s most clicked-on stories from the past year is NPR’s Best Cookbooks of 2009, so we’re happy to announce NPR’s Best Cookbooks of 2010 is here.

Even though you can Google nearly any recipe you want, T. Susan Chang tells Liane Hanson on Weekend Edition Saturday that this was an amazing year for cookbooks. In putting together this list, she stuck to the books that everyday cooks would want to use. The common thread of these books is that the “authors take the trouble to tell you everything you need to know to do the recipes. The short, cute cookbooks with almost nothing on the page, those are the ones to look out for, because they will double cross you.”

Curiously, the book that received the largest Amazon sales bump is The Food Substitutions Bible, from Canadian publisher, Robert Rose (distributed by Firefly). It rose to #53 from a lowly #18,937, proving that you can’t Google everything.

The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment and Techniques
David Joachim
Retail Price: $24.95
Paperback: 696 pages
Publisher: Robert Rose – (2010-09-02)
ISBN / EAN: 0778802450 / 9780778802457