10 Booklist April 1, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
sensuously traces a life laced together by food
and its preparation. ;e author credits her outspoken mother with handing her a knife at a
young age, trusting her to cut apples for pan
dowdy without cutting herself, and setting her
on the path that would lead her to work as
one of the few women in the kitchens of chefs
David Bouley and Daniel Boulud. ;ielen is
as supple and precise a writer as she is a cook,
whether she’s talking about fries “as crispy and
light as balsa wood” or the “cool ;eshiness” of
Medjool dates. Her writing is as earthy as a
plate of her grandma’s sauerkraut hot dish, and
her life as intriguingly complex and varied as a
tasting menu. —Margaret Quamme
King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary
Exploration of Jewish Cooking from
around the World.
By Joan Nathan.
Apr. 2017. 416p. illus. Knopf, $35 (9780385351140).
;is cookbook is a big deal. Because after
receiving awards from the James Beard Foundation (among others) and publishing 11
cookbooks—all to critical acclaim—Nathan
o;ers the ultimate north-to-south, east-to-west
compendium of Jewish
cuisine, amassed through
travel and conversations
in 15 countries and ;ve
continents. Of course, the
familiar, endearing recipes are well represented,
often with variations:
bagels, kugel, matzo, chal-
lah, kishke, and more. Just as seductive are the
lesser-known dishes she’s unearthed and perfected, from Persian haroset (a combination
used at Passover with dates, apples, pistachios, and pomegranate juice); defo dabo
(Ethiopian Sabbath bread); and Sri Lankan
breakfast buns with onion con;t. ;e 170
recipes aside, what will grab attention are the
stories and chefs (home and professional)
featured on almost every page. ;e personalities populate every recipe: meet Roman
Paolo Fano, who discusses the art of stracotto
(beef stew). And Annette Lerner, with her
tradition of bringing mandelbrot cookies to
every Washington Nationals’ opening day.
Plus chefs Daniel Rose and Adam Sobel who
opine, respectively, about apple kuchen and
brisket. ;e stories enlighten and engage; for
instance, she delves deeply into the history
of the bagel and uncovers stories of making
cheese at the edge of Israel. A sheynem dank,
Ms. Nathan! —Barbara Jacobs
River Cottage A to Z: Our Favourite
Ingredients, & How to Cook Them.
By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
May 2017. 708p. illus. Bloomsbury, $65
Encyclopedic approaches to foods convey
information, but rarely do they also entertain.
Chef and food activist Fearnley-Whittingstall
has used his East Devon farmstead/restau-
rant/cooking school to promote sustainable
agriculture through a series of popular Brit-
ish television shows. Now, with the help of a
handful of knowledgeable cooking associates,
Fearnley-Whittingstall has written a massive
guide to all things comestible. While these
essays on individual ingredients o;er compre-
hensive data on the origins, propagation, and
culinary uses of vegetables, herbs, seafood, and
meats, they are written with such enthusiasm
and good humor that even nonfoodies may
;nd themselves intrigued and even laughing
out loud. Written with a decidedly British
voice, the book pours out a torrent of well-
organized and valuable reference material.
Recipes for each ingredient, whether common
(barley, spinach, raspberries) or obscure (alex-
anders, pu;balls, bilberries) vary from simple
to complex. American readers may be con-
founded by exclusive use of metric measures.
Color photographs and drawings supplement
the text. —Mark Knoblauch
Musicals in Film: A Guide to the Genre.
By Thomas S. Hischak.
2016. 449p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $89 (9781440844225);
e-book (9781440844232). 791.43.
Hischak once again explores the world of
musicals, this time focusing on the rich history of musicals portrayed on the big screen.
His examination spans nearly 90 years of musicals on ;lm, from ;e Jazz Singer (1927), the
;rst to feature singing (and talking) in what
was otherwise a “silent movie,” to the screen
adaptation of Into the Woods (2014). In addition to the basic details of each musical, he
discusses production history, casting stories and
controversies, and adaptations from original
stage versions. He complements many entries
with black-and-white photos, short biographies
of the main participants, and a few suggestions
for further reading.
;e volume also includes a lengthy bibliography and index. As with some of his other
works, Hischak adds interesting features to aid
the reader in understanding the topic. Divided
by decade, each section opens with a narrative
describing how the musical ;lms and the ;lm
industry ;t into the fabric of American life during the period. His time line of movie musicals
adds context by pairing release years of Hollywood musicals with important historical and
cultural events. Finally, he includes an essay
describing the many subgenres of movie musicals, like animated, patriotic, and biographical.
;is is an excellent choice for the performing-arts sections of most libraries. —Steven York
U2: Rock ‘n’ Roll to Change the World.
By Timothy D. Neufeld.
Apr. 2017. 208p. Rowman & Littlefield, $40
(9781442249394); e-book, $39.99 (9781442249400).
In 1976, four Dublin teenagers formed a
When the World Stopped to Listen: Van
band and changed the world. ;anks to the
humanitarianism of their front man, the Irish
band U2 is as famous for its political activ-
ism as for its music. Neufeld examines these
and many other angles in this thoughtful
account, tracking the lives of Larry Mullen
Jr., Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, and natu-
ral showman and leader Paul Hewson, who
soon earned the sobriquet “Bono.” Neufeld
describes their experimentation with di;er-
ent sounds and the success of their passionate
live shows. Early on, their music championed
equality and social-justice issues, fused with a
profound commitment (by three of the four
members) to the Christian communal move-
ment. Neufeld examines the e;ect of Ireland’s
complicated political and religious history on
the musicians; traces the growth of the band;
follows its various musical shifts as band mem-
bers reacted to the world’s changing political
landscape; and, ;nally, ;nds the band search-
ing for relevancy in the early years of the
twenty-;rst century. ;e book concludes with
an annotated list of U2’s recordings and con-
cert ;lms. A must for U2 fans. —June Sawyers
Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph, and Its
By Stuart Isacoff.
Apr. 2017. 304p. Knopf, $27.95 (9780385352185).
Fans of pianist Van Cliburn (1934–2013)—
and there are many, the world over—can
rejoice in the second biography in as many
years to focus on his Cold War win at the ;rst
Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958. Nigel Cli;’s Moscow
Nights (2016) focused on the glory; music a;-cionado Isaco; (A Natural History of the Piano,
2011) places the glory within an illuminating
framework that includes the pianist’s touching
;nal years. ;e harshness of world events and
real life intrudes. Cliburn’s friend, competition
pianist Liu Shikun, su;ered under Mao for
many years. Dmitri Shostakovich, the competition’s chairman, was treated unfairly by
Soviet authorities. Cliburn was perhaps overly
dependent on his mother, and his health declined with time. Isaco; doesn’t miss the lovely
aspects, though, including Cliburn’s epistolary
friendship with a Russian woman he met in
1958, his many beloved acquaintances and
adventures, and his partner of many years,
Tommy Smith. ;is well-rounded biography will move readers in ways much di;erent
than Moscow Nights; both are essential reading for music lovers, and both are fascinating.
Crafts & Hobbies
Stationery Fever: From Paper Clips to
Pencils and Everything in Between.
By John Z. Komurki and Luca Bendandi.
Ed. by Angela Nicoletti.
2016. 208p. illus. Prestel, $39.95 (9783791382722). 651.2.
Stationery and its attendant paraphernalia
are having a cultural moment—similar, ac-
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