Some new, mostly long-titled books we’re excited about:
Local food: Alisa Smith and James Mackinnon, the masterminds behind the 100-Mile Diet, have chronicled their inaugural year on the diet with Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally. Danny Meyer, the author of Setting the Table, writes in a blurb that the book “will change your life even if you never could or would try this at home.”
Berkeley food: Meyer’s in demand right now as a blurbist. Of Thomas McNamee’s new biography, Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution, he writes that the story “matters to anyone who has ever wondered about the power of passion, culture, leadership, values, and even human frailty to change the course of how a society behaves.” Whoa.
Good food: Meyer must have been unavailable to blurb Laura Shapiro’s new biography of Julia Child, the latest installment of the Penguin Lives series. But plenty of people love the book: Entertainment Weekly gave it an “A-” and Patricia Wells called it “a gift of a book, a true love poem to our beloved Julia.” (Shapiro’s book Perfection Salad: Women & Cooking at the Turn of the Century was an awesome, early example of the kind of culinary journalism so popular now. It is unjustly out-of-print.)
Word food: And if you missed my earlier plug for Elizabeth’s first collection of poems, Sunday Houses the Sunday House is now available at Powell’s, Amazon and good bookstores everywhere. Elizabeth will be touring this spring with our friend Christopher Janke. His first collection Structure of the Embryonic Rat Brain, winner of the Fence Modern Poets Series, is also available now. It’s not only a beautiful book of beautiful poems; it’s got a flipbook in the bottom righthand corner (where else?).