A cooking book recommendation: The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock M. D.

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2eoap41.
Where previous American parenting guides were stern and repressive, Spock was humane, benign and borderline permissive, based on – this was really radical – his devout reading of Freud.
Book description from Google Books:
This is a reprint of the One and Only Original book by Dr. Benjamin Spock on Baby and Child Care. Prior to this reprint, the original book had not been reprinted since 1957. Instead there have been many new books, all bearing Dr. Spock’s name, but these have been considerably different books and usually much shorter. No book published after 1957 has been a true reprint of the original book. Starting with Baby and Child Care (2nd ed.). New York: Pocket Books (1957), books have been coming out claiming to be new editions of the original book, but in reality they are different books, not the same book. Poor Dr. Spock has had to cater to the demands of various pressure groups who demanded revisions of his work.
The book is rated 4.16/5 at goodreads.com, from 19 ratings. See 2 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dwLGgm.
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A cooking book recommendation: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2uqy5kK.
Roxane Gay’s luminous new memoir, “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body,” is a profound example of this theory in praxis. An uncompromising look at the specific, often paradoxical details of her embodiment, the book examines the experience of living in her body in the world as through a kaleidoscope from every angle…
Book description from Google Books:
The Instant New York Times Bestseller From the New York Times best-selling author of Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.  “I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”  New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.  With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.   
The book is rated 4.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 13110 ratings. See 2144 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uI4mPI.
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A cooking book recommendation: Chicken in the Mango Tree: Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village by Jeffrey Alford

A critic review (source Toronto Star) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1hHDusZ.
Alford’s many years of experience as a cookbook writer have paid off: The recipes in Chicken in the Mango Tree are both intriguing and approachable — at least the ones that involve accessible ingredients. For those that don’t, he offers pretty handy suggestions for substitutions.
Book description from Google Books:
In the small village of Kravan in rural Thailand, the food is like no other in the world. The diet is finely attuned to the land, taking advantage of what is local and plentiful. Made primarily of fresh, foraged vegetables infused with the dominant Khmer flavours of bird chilies, garlic, shallots and fish sauce, the cuisine is completely distinct from the dishes typically associated with Thailand.Best-selling food writer and photographer Jeffrey Alford has been completely immersed in this unique culinary tradition for the last four years while living in this region with his partner Pea, a talented forager, gardener and cook. With stories of village and family life surrounding each dish, Alford provides insight into the ecological and cultural traditions out of which the cuisine of the region has developed. He also describes how the food is meant to be eaten: as an elaborate dish in a wedding ceremony, a well-deserved break from the rice harvest, or just a comforting snack at the end of a hard day.Chicken in the Mango Tree follows the cycle of a year in Kravan, and the recipes associated with each seasonsteamed tilapia during the rainy season, mushroom soup, called tom yam het, during the cold season, rice noodles with seafood during the hot months and spicy green papaya salad as comfort food all year round. With helpful substitutes for the more exotic ingredients and cooking methods, Alford’s recipes and stories blend together to bring a taste of this little-known region to North American homes.
The book is rated 3.29/5 at goodreads.com, from 14 ratings. See 6 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1hHDut2.
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A cooking book recommendation: Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season by Yossy Arefi

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/28MKGkg.
A large part of what makes the book sing is how Ms. Arefi, who lives in Brooklyn but who grew up in Seattle, combines flavors in a way that is utterly modern and often intriguing.
Book description from Google Books:
A cozy collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats that cherishes the fruit of every season. Celebrate the luscious fruits of every season with this stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats. Summer’s wild raspberries become Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Sorbet, ruby red rhubarb is roasted to adorn a pavlova, juicy apricots and berries are baked into galettes with saffron sugar, and winter’s bright citrus fruits shine in Blood Orange Donuts and Tangerine Cream Pie. Yossy Arefi’s recipes showcase what’s fresh and vibrant any time of year by enhancing the enticing sweetness of fruits with bold flavors like rose and orange flower water inspired by her Iranian heritage, bittersweet chocolate and cacao nibs, and whole-grain flours like rye and spelt. Accompanied by gorgeous, evocative photography, Sweeter off the Vine is a must-have for aspiring bakers and home cooks of all abilities. From the Hardcover edition.
The book is rated 4.09/5 at goodreads.com, from 91 ratings. See 31 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/28KhtIk.
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A cooking book recommendation: Sunny’s Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar on the Edge of the World by Tim Sultan

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/21UwRDx.
…what’s left is this sweet, hopeful understanding of our broken, glorious kind. The ability to capture this is what makes any work of art sing. And this is what makes “Sunny’s Nights” shine.
Book description from Google Books:
Imagine that Alice had walked into a bar instead of falling down the rabbit hole. In the tradition of J. R. Moehringer s “The Tender Bar” and the classic reportage of Joseph Mitchell, here is an indelible portrait of what is quite possibly the greatest bar in the world and the mercurial, magnificent man behind it. The first time he saw Sunny s Bar, in 1995, Tim Sultan was lost, thirsty for a drink, and intrigued by the single bar sign among the forlorn warehouses lining the Brooklyn waterfront. Inside, he found a dimly lit room crammed with maritime artifacts, a dozen well-seasoned drinkers, and, strangely, a projector playing a classic Martha Graham dance performance. Sultan knew he had stumbled upon someplace special. What he didn t know was that he had just found his new home. Soon enough, Sultan has quit his office job to bartend full-time for Sunny Balzano, the bar s owner. A wild-haired Tony Bennett lookalike with a fondness for quoting Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett, Sunny is truly one of a kind. Born next to the saloon that has been in his family for one hundred years, Sunny has over the years partied with Andy Warhol, spent time in India at the feet of a guru, and painted abstract expressionist originals. But his masterpiece is the bar itself, a place where a sublime mix of artists, mobsters, honky-tonk musicians, neighborhood drunks, nuns, longshoremen, and assorted eccentrics rub elbows. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly transforming city, “Sunny s Nights” is a loving and singular portrait of the dream experience we re all searching for every time we walk into a bar, and an enchanting memoir of an unlikely and abiding friendship. Praise for “Sunny s Nights” Fantastic . . . [Sultan takes] material that might seem familiar and [mixes] a perfect, insightful cocktail: full-bodied, multitextured and delicious. . . . Simply beautiful. “The New York Times Book Review” Sultan s love of Red Hook shines through, and it s hard not to be swept along on the ebb and flow of his emotions. . . . Sultan s book is, among other things, a meditation on the fragility of the moment and the passage of time. . . . Wistful, funny and biting, “Sunny s Nights” rewards you with its evocation of a certain place in time and, as Sultan calls him, the most original man I have ever met. “Newsday” An affectionate portrait of the idiosyncratic Sunny s Bar. “USA Today” Sultan finds Sunny . . . a real character, a poet, a cinephile, a philosopher, bluegrass maestro and (Rheingold) beer server. “New York Post” ( Required Reading ) Captivating . . . a classic story about a local bar. “The Buffalo News” An enchanting memoir, a profound meditation on place and a beautiful story of an unlikely and abiding friendship. “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” [A] polished, affecting look at remarkable barkeep Sunny Balzano . . . In elegant prose, Sultan deploys laconic humor, an instinct for telling details, a taste for eccentricity, and above all, clear-eyed compassion for our all-too-human failings. “Publishers Weekly “(starred review) Beautifully wrought . . . an indelible portrait of an unusual man and a nearly forgotten part of NYC. “Booklist” More than an elegy for a bar and a neighborhood it s also a vivid and loving portrait of the larger-than-life eccentric who gave the bar its name and its spirit. Tom Perrotta, author of “The Leftovers””
The book is rated 4.01/5 at goodreads.com, from 263 ratings. See 62 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/21UwOYn.
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A cooking book recommendation: Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship by Isabel Vincent

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2bd1y6v.
The book is a fast, light read, but it is made poignant by the understanding that Isabel’s life is still on an upward swing — things get better, she finds love, she begins to move on — while Edward is heading toward his slow decline.
Book description from Google Books:
“Over mouthwatering dinners, an odd couple–a nonagenarian and a recently divorced reporter–engage in a series of discussions, from the importance of beauty, to living after loss, to the power of love to redeem and renew, to how to make a succulent duck breast. I loved every moment of this book . . . Everyone deserves her own Edward–and everyone deserves to read this book.” –Susannah Cahalan, bestselling author of Brain on Fire   When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.Dinner with Edward is a book about sorrow and joy, love and nourishment, and about how dinner with a friend can, in the words of M. F. K. Fisher, “sustain us against the hungers of the world.” “A dinner with Edward is nothing to demur. Although the food (I am partial to the roast chicken, lovingly described) is excellent, it is the charming, sweet, and effortlessly wise company that makes this sweet read a charming way to pass a day.” –George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Bettyville: A Memoir  
The book is rated 3.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 1858 ratings. See 404 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2bd0L5G.
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A cooking book recommendation: Cooked to Death: Tales of Crime and Cookery by Carl Brookins

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2evAkqA.
This book never takes itself too seriously, either from a crime-solving or a culinary standpoint. (One of the recipes is for cocktail wienies.) The result is fast-reading, tongue-in-cheek entertainment. You’re sure to come away hungry for more.
Book description from Google Books:
They’re all here: appetizers, entrees, salads, and plenty of desserts-not all of them just. It’s a delectable menu, served up by some of the region’s finest crime and mystery writers, and each story is accompanied by a recipe or two that have been tried and proven entirely non-lethal. Rare or well-done, piquant or bland, sugary sweet or a little on the dry side, no matter. These tales will leave you drooling for more… Book jacket.
The book is rated 4.05/5 at goodreads.com, from 20 ratings. See 6 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dCvWbX.
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A cooking book recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2mVCZPw.
The thickly bound format is ideally read in bed. This is just the kind of book to shut out the world with a sense of Scandinavian comfort.
Book description from Google Books:
The Sunday Times bestseller The New York Times bestseller The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness. Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right. Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. This year live more like a Dane, embrace hygge and become happier.
The book is rated 3.72/5 at goodreads.com, from 13901 ratings. See 1636 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mKHIa1.
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A cooking book recommendation: Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking by Naomi Pomeroy

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2uAXzfm.
“Taste & Technique” is doably aspirational: While the recipes are unabashedly complex, working through them with patience and persistence will indeed make you a better cook…
Book description from Google Books:
James Beard Award-winning and self-made chef Naomi Pomeroy’s debut cookbook, featuring nearly 140 lesson-driven recipes designed to improve the home cook’s understanding of professional techniques and flavor combinations in order to produce simple, but show-stopping meals. Naomi Pomeroy knows that the best recipes are the ones that make you a better cook. A twenty-year veteran chef with four restaurants to her name, she learned her trade not in fancy culinary schools but by reading cookbooks. From Madeleine Kamman and Charlie Trotter to Alice Waters and Gray Kunz, Naomi cooked her way through the classics, studying French technique, learning how to shop for produce, and mastering balance, acidity, and seasoning.   In Taste & Technique, Naomi shares her hard-won knowledge, passion, and experience along with nearly 140 recipes that outline the fundamentals of cooking. By paring back complex dishes to the building-block techniques used to create them, Naomi takes you through each recipe step by step, distilling detailed culinary information to reveal the simple methods chefs use to get professional results.   Recipes for sauces, starters, salads, vegetables, and desserts can be mixed and matched with poultry, beef, lamb, seafood, and egg dishes to create show-stopping meals all year round. Practice braising and searing with a Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder, then pair it with Orange-Caraway Glazed Carrots in the springtime or Caramelized Delicata Squash in the winter. Prepare an impressive Herbed Leg of Lamb for a holiday gathering, and accompany it with Spring Pea Risotto or Blistered Cauliflower with Anchovy, Garlic, and Chile Flakes.   With detailed sections on ingredients, equipment, and techniques, this inspiring, beautifully photographed guide demystifies the hows and whys of cooking and gives you the confidence and know-how to become a masterful cook.
The book is rated 4.09/5 at goodreads.com, from 94 ratings. See 25 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uTMfq8.
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A cooking book recommendation: A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2eA3DIG.
It is not always entirely clear what Ziegelman and Coe mean for us to take away from their eloquent work of historical summation. Then again, that may be a good thing. The larger question of America’s shifting attitudes toward federal aid is a prodigious topic to digest.
Book description from Google Books:
James Beard Foundation Book Award WinnerFrom the author of the acclaimed 97 Orchard and her husband, a culinary historian, an in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced—the Great Depression—and how it transformed America’s culinary culture.The decade-long Great Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse of the economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder.In 1933, as women struggled to feed their families, President Roosevelt reversed long-standing biases toward government-sponsored “food charity.” For the first time in American history, the federal government assumed, for a while, responsibility for feeding its citizens. The effects were widespread. Championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had long fought to bring science into the kitchen rose to national stature.Tapping into America’s long-standing ambivalence toward culinary enjoyment, they imposed their vision of a sturdy, utilitarian cuisine on the American dinner table. Through the Bureau of Home Economics, these women led a sweeping campaign to instill dietary recommendations, the forerunners of today’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.At the same time, rising food conglomerates introduced packaged and processed foods that gave rise to a new American cuisine based on speed and convenience. This movement toward a homogenized national cuisine sparked a revival of American regional cooking. In the ensuing decades, the tension between local traditions and culinary science has defined our national cuisine—a battle that continues today. A Square Meal examines the impact of economic contraction and environmental disaster on how Americans ate then—and the lessons and insights those experiences may hold for us today.A Square Meal features 25 black-and-white photographs.
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 758 ratings. See 175 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eA3vZS.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2vYVt5A.