November 2020 Prime Picks
Biography and Autobiography
Iris Jamahl Dunkle
University of Oklahoma Press
Charmian Kittredge London: Trailblazer, Author,
Adventurer is a
compelling biography of a woman born in 1871. Charmain married author
London, yet forged new pathways of creativity and adventure in her own
worldwide fame, it's somewhat surprising that no prior book has
life before. This omission is remedied in this fine survey of her
from her literary achievements and her efforts to foster her husband's
to her travels around the world, at his side.
insights about her life and adventure-seeking spirit will delight many;
especially women who like biographies about strong, independent
figures who have traditionally been under-represented.
Mariah Crey with Michaela Angela Davis
Andy Cohen Books/Henry Holt
The Meaning of Mariah Carey provides a
memoir by a famous musical
personality who, surprisingly, had to draw on special reserves of
fortitude to put pen to paper to write this story.
biographical coverages about Carey, but her book summarizes the life
experiences that made her the artist she is today. It's composed of her
memories, insights, struggles, and songs, with no holds barred.
and adolescence to stormy family interactions and the evolution of her
Carey explores all aspects of her life with an attention to detail that
fill in many blanks even for the most avid Mariah Carey fan.
winning coverage that's highly recommended reading for even those who
avidly followed her career and think they know everything about her.
Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics
life and persona of the famous scientist from a different angle than
drawing on memories of Hawking's world from the standpoint of a close
who is also a fellow physicist.
are explored, from Hawking's science and its evolution to the
his disease and what it felt like to be Hawking's friend and colleague.
personal life and interests to his science challenges and discoveries,
multifaceted biography is an excellent adjunct to any exploration of
scientific prowess, offering a human inspection to the man and his life
will delight Hawking enthusiasts.
The British Baking Book: The History of British
Baking, Savory and
Sweet features recipes, written descriptions of British
and culture, and color photos of both landscapes and finished dishes.
recommended for cooks with a special interest in not just cookbooks,
focuses on baked goods, from a Lemon Drizzle Cake staple that appears
in many a
tea room to Chelsea Buns, sold in London's longtime, famous The Chelsea
House from 1711 to modern times.
buns, biscuits, and sandwich biscuits are all explored in detail, with
full-page color photos accompanying introductions of each baked good's
British culinary history.
the measurements in British and American lend to easy reproduction
especially important given that translation between the two systems of
measurement is not always straightforward.
interest in British baking needs this outstanding compilation.
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
Easy Everyday Keto: Healthy Kitchen-Perfected
Recipes is improved
by the participation of Alician A. Romano, MS, RD, CNSC, who adds
guidelines to a collection of keto dishes that substitute healthy
ingredients for traditional fare.
approach include Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Meatballs, in which a
cuts zucchini into 'noodles' that pair nicely with the spicy meatballs;
Tacos which are served in lettuce wraps instead of the usual flour or
full-page, artistic rendition of the finished dish, and each has been
tested, including detailed insights on 'why this recipe works' above
competitors, and what challenges the test kitchen faced in perfecting
crunchy nuts for breadcrumbs in a Nut-Crusted Pork Chops dish to using
cauliflower as a low-carb replacement for rice, Easy
Everyday Keto is an inviting cookbook highly recommended for
keto followers at all skills levels.
Let's Brunch: 100 Recipes for the Best Meal of the
lovely color photos by Susan Barnson Hayward with creative recipes that
offer a twist on traditional brunch fare, from Ramp Buttermilk Biscuits
adds the wild onions typically found in America's Southeast and East to
hearty Loaded Steak and Bell Pepper Strata, which is more
most, or a Grit Cake, Collard, and Pulled Pork Sammie that uses cabbage
greens typically available in the South.
not to be found in competing brunch cookbooks. They adapt regional fare
brunch-oriented flavors to expand the idea and presentation of brunch
soups, brunch cocktails, and casseroles, among other fare.
but have found their skills limited by egg-based dishes alone will
more expansive, easy dishes in Let's
Rachel Stonehouse and Kaila H. Johnson
Rising Hope: Recipes and Stories from Luminary
Bakery requires no
prior familiarity with the fare of the Luminary Bakery to prove
newcomers, even though it's designed as a celebration of the
includes stories and insights about the bakery's community involvements.
will also find
this a celebration of the bakers that comprise Luminary. Short
sketches outline their history and perspectives on baking, accompanying
that capture the establishment's innovations, from Cherry and Coconut
Brownies that stem from its roots as a wholesale bakery supplier across
to baker Giselle's adaptation of a Japanese vanilla cake with her Lemon
Poppy Seed Cotton Cake.
to be found elsewhere, which will make Rising
Hope particularly inviting to bakers seeking innovations and
far from the norm and easy for home cooks to reproduce.
of bakery personalities and history and unique dishes makes this
cookbook a real
The Art of
The Art of Illusion provides arts
holdings with a solid history on
the development of illusionist art, considering its techniques,
the evolution of both the art and methods of producing it.
architecture, street art, and other mediums are all explored with an
tracing the concept and presentation of illusion over the centuries.
color images accompany biographical sketches in chapters arranged
chronologically by medium. An introduction to each subject discusses
overall history of that medium's illusionist art evolution.
centuries past to contemporary mediums such as photorealism and
computer-generated portraiture, this wide-ranging survey juxtaposes
present artistic expressions and approaches, drawing together the
methods, and different focuses of contrasting illusionist efforts.
find it an invaluable acquisition.
strong in women's history and photography will find Katherine
Manthorne's Women in the Dark: Female
the U.S., 1850-1900 (9780764360169, $45.00) an essential
Women in the Dark covers two generations
of female photographers
across the country, exploring their careers and creations. Primary
new materials help readers consider not just their art, but how they
photographs presented here, as well as the trends and influences of the
in which women created them, creates a wide-ranging history
good-sized images and examples throughout.
Thomasson's Perishable Poetics: Manifesting
through Contemporary Floral Design (9780764359866, $60.00)
pairs some forty
color examples, many full-page, with a discussion of how Thomasson's
designs evolved, and how she grew to make a name for herself in the
and notes follow the progression of techniques and creative form, while
discussions of the overall approach to floral arranging art and the
that turn dead elements into lifelike displays offer invaluable keys to
just Thomasson's unique approach, but the finer materials and designs
her approaches from others.
Design with Love: At Home in America by
(9780764359934, $45.00) features photography by Harry Connolly. It
housing, vulnerable communities, and how abandonment and poverty can be
combated by revised choices in architectural design that embody
associate spirituality and social strength with architectural design,
survey, with its focus on the challenges of designing safe, vibrant
that encourage community interactions, does a fine job of blending the
of social objective and artistic design challenges under one cover.
individuals involved in building processes that encourage community
return, even in poor areas such as Detroit, provide visual emphasis of
renovation and construction projects that support written descriptions
recommended beyond arts holdings as a powerful resource that should
into social issues and community urban planning collections alike.
standouts that should be considered necessary additions to
comprehensive arts collections.
Angry Weather: Heat Waves, Floods, Storms, and the
New Science of
Climate Change comes from a University of Oxford researcher
the rise of violent weather and its possible causes, examining the role
science of climate change in mapping extreme weather events.
stories of such
weather and its damage supplement discussions of how attribution
and predicts future weather patterns. This proffers a cutting edge look
style of science that has, until now, received relatively little
books directed to general-interest, non-scientist readers.
predict and model changing weather can change society responses, which
is why Angry Weather deserves a
in any general interest collection, and should not be limited to
Francis Mark Mondimore, MD
Johns Hopkins University Press
edition of Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for
You & Your Loved Ones provides bipolar individuals
and their families
with the latest science, medicine, and perspectives about the condition.
long familiarity with addressing bipolar's special issues and
challenges will find there's a host of new medications and approaches
it. Mondimore's survey reviews the latest scientific studies on
medicines to herbs, nutritional supplements, and brain stimulation
changes to legal issues and family support systems, Bipolar
Disorder: A Guide for You & Your Loved Ones even
beyond medicine alone to address many issues of daily living that other
on the subject rarely tackle.
detailed survey of bipolar disorder's many facets and challenges that
easy to understand its incarnation, progression, and treatment. Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for You & Your
Loved Ones should be required reading for any family or
concerned about bipolar disorder; especially those either new to the
or who haven't read an updated book on the subject in a long time.
San Francisco: Voyages Through the Unknown City pairs
lovely black and white cityscape pen-and-ink drawings by Paul Madonna
prose capturing the history, culture, and evolution of San Francisco.
with a contemporary essay on San Francisco life and culture under COVID
of the city's changing feel without much of its iconic cultural
full display both synthesizes the city's odd atmosphere and explains
so than most urban environments, San Francisco maintains the ability to
mysterious, alluring, and "sublimely empty even when it's full of
variety of neighborhoods, from the glory days of its piers and displays
architectural wealth to the heyday of the Sutro Baths and the
founder of Land's End, the poetic descriptions and loving synthesis of
culture, and San Francisco atmosphere creates a lovely celebration of
city's diverse environments.
delight all readers whether they have a casual interest in or
San Francisco or are natives, like this reviewer.
here for everyone, and it's simply enchanting.
Elijah Cummings with James Dale
We're Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of
provides the posthumous memoir of Representative Elijah Cummings,
biography of his life with a review of his perceptions of democratic
We're Better Than This for its
biography or its underlying political message, these insights on what
democracy, how it changes, and what influences it, pro and con, are
in this time of turmoil.
stories from his past to trace his personal moral, ethical, and
evolution, offering keys to the foundations of his attitudes toward and
photos of family and political friends completes his memoir, a
examination of not just one politician's life, but the social, racial,
legal changes during his lifetime that changed who he was and his
individual rights and responsibilities living in a democracy.
books are standouts that promise fun and original stories to youngsters
adult gatekeepers who choose them for leisure reads.
Radivoeva's Malina's Jam
features a shy hedgehog who makes raspberry jam from the garden she
begin to realize that her jam is special, Malina begins to break free
shyness and isolation; especially when everyone joins in to celebrate
by sharing in the work that goes into tending the garden and making it.
the enterprising Malina, who is more comfortable in kitchen and garden
with others, makes for an appealing story many a shy child will readily
Williams's I Want to Sleep Under the Stars!
(9781368053358, $12.99) is an Unlimited Squrrel friends book that tells
Zoom Squirrel, who dreams of sleeping under the stars. His other
friends are happy to help him achieve his dream, but first they have to
understand what it means to sleep outside.
A fun story filled with action follows the busy, zipping squirrels as they learn about not just sleeping outside, but staying friends in the process.
Ferb's Guide to Life
(9781368065733, $9.99) is
now streaming on the Disney channel. It offers an antidote to boredom
guide packed with tips and tricks for adding zest to life via
quizzes, vocabulary-building fun, big words, black and white drawings,
remarkable sayings that accompany activities encouraging advanced
grade readers to make life fun.
approach to even mundane-sounding daily activities like cleaning one's
appealing and fun, though a color presentation might have enhanced the
A Guinea Pig
Clemente Clarke Moore and Tess Newall
A Guinea Pig Night Before Christmas joins
others in the Guinea Pig
Classics series and retells the Christmas poem, accompanied by guinea
pigs will appreciate the fun visual embellishments, from a Santa wish
includes radishes, carrots, and a big ball to cunning guinea pig
sporting gold 'antlers' and a fun red harness.
seeking something different for the holidays will find A
Guinea Pig Night Before Christmas visually fun, and a fine
takeoff interpretation of the original classic poem.
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen, Publishers
Kitchen Explorers! is the perfect item of
choice for parents who
wish to teach youngsters how to cook, and provides the third book in
With shelter-in-place restrictions keeping kids at home, there's no better time for such a book, which teaches kids the basics about making everything from Peanut Butter Cookies to understanding the science of what makes fizzy drinks fizzy.
collection of recipes, though, this book focuses on experiments, games,
science behind cooking. It gives kids a solid and diverse set of
how cooking actually works, from identifying and working with food
understanding how smell can change taste.
games, recipes, and insights will delight parents and kids seeking more
arrivals are highly recommended picks for young picture book readers.
features a winning combination of artistry and plot that sets them
Schnitzlein's Gnu and Shrew
receives fun drawings by Anca Sandu as it tells of very different
their approach to adventure. This provides a STEAM-enhanced takeoff on
fable "The Ant and the Grasshopper" by not only changing the animals,
but adding humorous contrasts between the personalities and life
engineering, math, art, and creative problem-solving create an
Woolf's Duck & Penguin Do Not Like
(9781682632017, $16.99) tells of humans who are best friends, and their
who are not.
What is one
when best friends want what their toys do not? Duck and Penguin are
along for the sleepover even though they don't like these plans. But
are left to their own devices during a scary night, they soon find that
they really have is each other.
This is a
to Duck and Penguin are NOT Friends,
expanding the themes of togetherness and alienation.
Lisa Papp's Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog (9781682631492,
$17.99) deserves ongoing recommendation as an exceptional story of a
needs to demonstrate his skills in order to become a therapy dog
have been practicing for a long time. But can he really pass the final
enter the world that he's been raised to work in?
teach kids about therapy animals, their training, and the special
they face along the way.
leisure reading choices.
provide leisure readers with lovely tales that are more than a cut
norm, making them recommendable for elementary-level readers and
find Katie Alender's The Companion
(9780399545917, $18.99) the compelling story of Margot, an orphan who
a terrible accident that killed her family and left her with lasting
think she's lucky for surviving and for being chosen by a rich family
at their remote country estate. But, actually, Margot has been
chosen to be a companion to the silent Agatha, their daughter. When she
seeing things in the old house, she begins to wonder if her nightmares
come home to roost.
part survival piece, mature teens will find The
Companion a compelling tale indeed.
Slack's Kitties on Dinosaurs
$17.99) presents a gentle picture book story about mischievous little
who like to climb on things.
to climb on dinosaurs, trouble ensues and forces them to sail back to
Island in the litter mobile to devise a plan to thwart the roaring
resist their climbing efforts.
fantasy, cats, and dinosaurs will find Kitties
on Dinosaurs a vivid story packed with action words perfect
Innerebner's Why Can't We Be
Beastie-Corns? (9781984814807, $17.99) provides a Kevin the
about Kevin's new neighbor, whom he views as a potential new best
seem to be too many differences between them to make best friendship a
possibility...but can they still be friends?
A fun story
exploring new friends and new possibilities teaches young picture book
about getting along and forming new relationships.
all fine books,
highly recommended for leisure readers seeking high-quality stories.
excellent picks highly recommended as superior productions.
intriguing T is for Thor by
Virginia Loh-Hagan (9781534110502,
$17.99) will reach ages 6-10 with an alphabet that introduces
mythology to the young.
and history of the Norse perception of the universe will require good
skills, even though this looks like a picture book easy reader. This
will appreciate the dark, brooding drawings of Torstein Nordstrand and
rhymes that introduce mythology along with stories centered around the
From K, for
knowledge Mimir gained from a special well, to Q, for the Queen of
was a kind goddess, the blend of alphabet and Nordic information is
of alphabet, choose Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen's H
is for Honey Bee: A Beekeeping Alphabet (9781534110700,
enjoys contemporary, bright drawings by Eileen Ryan Ewen as it follows
of beekeeping and bee colony maintenance.
a beekeeper and wildlife rehabilitator, and uses each letter of the
and rhyming verses linking them to explore issues of conservation and
STEM lessons on these issues and other nature concerns enhance this
educational primer for ages 6-10.
Joosse's Lulu & Rocky in Indianapolis
(9781534110663, $16.99) is illustrated by Renée Graef, who provides
engaging animal drawings to accompany a story of fox cousins who
state-by-state exploration, here visiting Indianapolis, Indiana.
the series explores various attractions in the state. It profiles a
activities and adventures, from whimsical encounters with dinosaurs in
Children's Museum display to a race car experience at Indianapolis, in
the fox muses "What would it feel
like to drive that fast? What would it be like to WIN?"
Alexander's Acoustic Rooster's Barnyard
Indigo Blume (9781534111141, $16.99) returns the Acoustic
Rooster to young
picture book readers with the story of his work with a young girl who
afraid of performing, the night before a big appearance.
sing at a community festival, but is afraid of getting on stage.
asleep, she enters a world in which characters from her favorite
book encourage her to join a famous musical group.
strikes, Indigo must muster up a different form of courage to perform
levels and save the day.
artist Tim Bowers accompanies an appealing tale that will reach ages
Lions & Cheetahs & Rhinos, Oh My!
Animal Artwork by Children in
Sub-Saharan Africa (9781534110540, $16.99) by John Platt and
Donohue gives readers ages 4-8 a fine picture book exploration packed
colorful drawings made by children who live in East Africa.
pair with animal facts in a production that blends art and natural
comes from the founder of the organization How to Draw a Lion.
100% of the author's royalties from this book will be donated to this foundation, devoted to encouraging young artists in Africa. Meanwhile, young artists in the U.S. will be equally attracted by the full-page colorful art and the animal facts.
of Love and Loss
EK Books/Exisle Publishing
Tree: A Gentle Story of Love and Loss is
a lovely children's
picture book that helps kids understand grief processes through the
a mainstay of the community.
Loppy notice that his leaves are falling and his bark flaking. They
understand that Tree is set to leave them.
can Loppy say goodbye to something that has been part of their lives
Kirrili Lonergan's whimsical Seuss-like drawings provide appealing embellishments to a very simple lesson in saying goodbye to a loved one.