Late Winter Reading
While nobody—on the East Coast in particular—really needs an excuse to stay inside, here are a few great books to tuck into (and a few cookbooks worth test-driving, too).
Fiction & Poetry
This debut novel from Angelina Mirabella revolves around Leonie Putzkammer, a statuesque teenager from Philly who is scouted by a wrestling promoter who sends her to Joe Pospisil’s School for Lady Grappling. Set in the ’50s, it’s a wonderfully straightforward coming-of-age story that’s set against a backdrop that’s anything but.
Jynne Dilling Martin spent six weeks living in Antarctica as an artist-in-residence, funded by the National Science Foundation—a period of time she records in this anthology of poetry. (She also maintained a hilarious and poignant blog, where she records the comings and goings of Emperor Penguins, and how to yoga on arctic ice.)
In Kate Atkinson’s book, Life After Life, the heroine, Ursula Todd, dies again and again—with each go, she can redirect her fate, which begins in 1910 when she first dies as a baby. In this highly-anticipated companion novel, Atkinson tackles the trajectory of Ursula’s brother, Teddy’s life. It comes out in May: While not required reading, dig into Life After Life first.
Reif Larsen made big waves when he burst onto the literary scene in 2009 after his debut novel about a precocious child cartographer, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, elicited a 10 publisher bidding war. In his second novel, I Am Radar, out later this month, Larsen tells an equally ambitious and otherwordly tale, this time about a child who is born during a strange electrical event.
Written by the co-star of Super Size Me, this book explores how desire and emotion underpin our relationship with food—and how we can begin to unravel the concept of craving to understand what we really need.
We’ve made no secret of our dedication to clean beauty—and this new book from Adina Grigore, the creator of S.W. Basics, does a great job of explaining why it’s so important. (After all, our skin is a largest organ.) Beyond a quick, entertaining, and informative read, Grigore provides tons of DIY beauty recipes as well as tricks for cramming as many beauty foods into your diet as possible.
Those with daughters read up: This fascinating book explores the well-documented shift in the age girls are entering puberty, and examines what may be at the root of it. Equal parts terrifying and reassuring, Deardorff and Greenspan put forward useful strategies and tips, both for delaying—and navigating—early development.
The subhed of this book—Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money—is kind of the dream. Ron Lieber, who writes the “Your Money” column for The New York Times explains how to make good habits and good values a reality, no small feat in today’s age of over-indulgence.
This is gorgeously styled and photographed, which makes the whole foods-based recipes all the more appealing. First to try: The Bento Bowl, The Golden Amaranth Superfood Bar, and The Sprout Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Uneboshi Vinaigrette.
We’re long-time fans of this San Francisco staple (click here, for some of our cooking adventures with them in the past)—Tartine can pretty much do no wrong when it comes to their bread, but in this new book, they add some exotic influences to the repertoire.
Popular blogger David Lebovitz was a pastry chef at Chez Panisse before moving to Paris, where he’s been living for the past decade. His book offers entertaining stories from his culinary adventures in Paris, along with great recipes for French classics (caramelized pork ribs, mustard-braised chicken).
This revolves around the traditions and food sensibilities of the Pacific Northwest, with a particular focus on local seafood and seasonal-influenced prep. Renee Erickson owns a handful of Seattle’s most popular restaurants, so you’ll find recipes from those menus as well.
This is a gorgeous compendium of entertaining-based recipes from Sunday Suppers, a Brooklyn-based food collective. It’s organized by menu, which is fun and convenient: It includes options for breakfast in bed, takeaway, and early evening, for example, i.e., ideas for every conceivable occasion.