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 Weekly Words about New Books in
Independent Bookstores

November 10, 2019

Best of the Old and the New on Cookbook Shelves
 
 The Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition revised and updated by John Becker and Megan Scott.   Way back in 1931, Irma S. Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking, printing 3,000 copies of what has become arguably the best-known cookb ook of all time, with more than 20 million copies in print. Now, 13 years  after the last revision, this new edition of The Joy of Cooking has been thoroughly updated and expanded by Irma's great-grandson John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott.
 
The pair developed more than 600 new recipes for this edition, tested and tweaked thousands of classic recipes, and updated every section of every chapter to reflect the latest ingredients and techniques available to today's home cooks.  A new chapter on streamlined cooking explains how to economize time, money, and ingredients and avoid waste. You will learn how to use a diverse array of ingredients, from amaranth to za'atar. New techniques include low-temperature and sous vide cooking, fermentation, and cooking with both traditional and electric pressure cookers. Barbecuing, smoking, and other outdoor cooking methods are covered in even greater detail.  
 
Among the many fans of the new edition is Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, who wrote: "Generation after generation, Joy has been a warm, encouraging presence in American kitchens, teaching us to cook with grace and humor. This luminous new edition continues on that important tradition while seamlessly weaving in modern touches, making it all the more indispensable for generations to come."   
 
 
Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman. The subtitle of this highly anticipated new volume says it all - this is not a cookbook for entertaining. Instead, as Roman herself puts it, it's a guide to "just making dinner, but, you know, with more people." And that sets the tone for a relaxed and decidedly unstuffy approach to a collection of all-new recipes that are heavy on easy-to-execute vegetables and versatile grains, pay lots of attention to crunchy, salty snacks, and offer plenty of love for all the meats. Included at no extra charge are the tips, sass, and confidence to pull it all off.
 
Roman is a columnist for the New York Times Food section and Bon AppĂ©tit whose first cookbook, Dining in: Highly Cookable Recipes, has been a staple on independent bookstore shelves since its release two years ago. If you're looking for a Martha Stewart-like approach, with perfectly folded napkins and beautifully plattered entrees, this is not the author for you. Roman's style is casual and sometimes imperfect; as she writes in Nothing Fancy's introduction, "This is not about living an aspirational life; it's about living an attainable one."   
Words of Warning from Teenage Climate Activist 
 
  No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
 by Greta Thunberg. This is a small volume but one filled with words of importance and motivation - a collection of 16 groundbreaking speeches by the young climate activist who has become the voice of a generation.  
 
In August 2018 a 15-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day in order to protest the climate crisis. Her actions sparked a global movement, inspiring millions of students to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Included here are speeches she delivered to the British Parliament, the U.N. General Assembly, and the U.S. Congress, among others - often alarming but filled with impossible-to-ignore statistics about the climate crisis facing our world.    
 
In describing the book, Kirkus Reviews stressed the importance of Thunberg's thoughts and warnings : "With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: 'I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.' "  
 
With the holidays approaching, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference is a great gift idea for the right person, and with its $10 price tag, perhaps you'll think of more than one right person.     
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WHY THE COLUMN?
Hi, I'm Hut Landon, and I work as a bookseller in an independent bookstore in BerkeIey, California.

My goal with this newsletter is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what indie booksellers are recommending in their stores, and pass on occasional news about the book world.

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