8 Booklist February 1, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
Olmsted, Claude Monet) and less commonly
recognized names (Wen Zhengming, André
le Nôtre, William Robinson, Edna Walling).
Each of these gardeners both led and represented the aesthetic of his or her generation.
For added context, there is a small block of
important historical events that happened in
each gardener’s lifetime. From this compilation of great gardeners, modern landscape
architects and designers and home gardeners
can learn some of the history and development of their art and craft. —Linda Scarth
The New Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruit:
An Illustrated Encyclopedia.
By Matthew Biggs and others.
2016. 704p. illus. Firefly, $45 (9781770857988). 635.
This updated and expanded edition of a
2013 book provides readers with an in-depth
overview on every fruit, vegetable, and herb
that one could think of to grow. It includes
information on over 70 different kinds of vegetables, 100 varieties of herbs, and 100 types
of fruit. Included in this beautifully illustrated
book is a brief introduction to the origins of
farming and gardening and the different types
of gardens that have existed throughout time.
The introduction also discusses botanical
names and their importance in identifying
plants. The vegetables and herbs featured in
the book are categorized A-Z, and included
with each entry are the different varieties available, all the ways to properly tend to them,
and recipes that can be prepared with them.
The fruits that are featured in the book are
divided into sections by how they are grown.
For those who are interested in the possibility
of setting up their own garden, the section on
gardening includes tips on where to position
specific varieties, preparation of the soil, and
In addition to the above sections, the book
includes a useful guide to sourcing seeds, an
expansive glossary, a bibliography, and an
index. Diagrams in the gardening section, a
chart about crop rotation, and information
about pest varieties and control will all be
extremely helpful to both novice and experienced gardeners. —Holly Skir
Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and
Other Misadventures in Gascony,
France’s Last Best Place.
By David McAninch.
Mar. 2017. 288p. Harper, $28.99 (9780062309419). 641.5.
Readers should prepare to be hungry for
Food Fights & Culture Wars: A Secret
the duration of this book. McAninch up-
rooted his wife and daughter from a stable
life in Chicago to live in a cold, damp mill
in rural southern France for a year. The goal
was to experience life in Gascony as a na-
tive. McAninch is a food writer and lifelong
Francophile who fell under the spell of the
distinct lifestyle and cooking of the agricul-
tural region. The primary crop? Duck. Filled
with descriptions of food that will have read-
ers’ mouths watering, this book is a heartfelt
foray into an often-overlooked area of France,
filled with jocular characters and charming
anecdotes. Fortunately, McAninch includes
a few choice recipes at the end of the book
for those who dare to tackle some of the de-
lectable, traditional French cooking. Overall,
McAninch’s ode to the people, food, and cul-
ture of Gascony is a traveler’s delight. Readers
will be nearly as sad for McAninch’s journey
to end as the author himself was, and ready to
hop on a flight to France. —Emily Brock
History of Taste.
By Tom Nealon.
Mar. 2017. 224p. illus. Overlook, $30 (9781468314410).
Tracing the history of culinary practice,
Nealon uncovers some fascinating and significant relationships between food and
seemingly disparate historical events. Diverse elements, from carp to chocolate to
barbecue, each turn out to have significantly
influenced historical eras and episodes.
Recounting the history of plague, Nealon
observes that seventeenth-century Paris
largely escaped the devastation that depopulated London, Venice, Milan, and Rouen.
This fortunate anomaly may well have arisen
due to Parisians’ obsession with lemonade, as
discarded fruit rinds acted as a natural insecticide. Nealon keeps his prose lighthearted,
but never to the point of undermining his
deep historical and cultural research. Those
who’ve hosted less-than-successful dinner
parties need not berate themselves. Nealon
notes that table arguments between Robespierre and Danton set in motion some of
the French Revolution’s most sanguinary
chapters. Nealon’s ever-entertaining text
wraps around lavish, copious illustration,
drawn in large part from the collections of
the British Library, and they deserve closest
scrutiny. —Mark Knoblauch
A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Two Chatty
Cooks, One Iconic Dish and Dozens of
Recipes—from Mom’s to Mario Batali’s.
By Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer.
Feb. 2017. 272p. illus. Grand Central/Life & Style, $24.99
(9781455563067); e-book, $12.99 (9781455563067).
When two accomplished New York Times
World Atlas of Tea: From the Leaf to
journalists decide to collaborate on a book,
bet on snappy dialogue flying fast and furious,
and an eminently accessible and reader-
friendly narrative. And when that twinning
centers on food and cooking, there’s no room
for pork. Or, in this case, perhaps a little.
Former chief restaurant critic and now op-
ed columnist Frank Bruni and congressional
reporter Jennifer Steinhauer talk joyously—a
back-and-forth begins every chapter—about
childhood memories of meatloaf, ingredi-
ents, famous chefs’ contributions (try Bobby
Flay’s Korean-style meatloaf with spicy glaze,
or Mario Batali’s stuffed meatloaf), and gen-
eral dissertations about fillers and extras and
sides. About 50 or so wide-ranging recipes
are categorized by meat type, by contribu-
tors (see political postscripts such as U.S.
representative Paul Ryan’s obsession with
venison), by other ingredients (tuna loaf,
anyone?). Get it for an array of loaf dishes;
keep it for the humor and insight: “I come
from a family so beefy and porky that Mom
kept an enormous extra freezer in the garage
just for meat” (Bruni). —Barbara Jacobs
the Cup, the World’s Teas Explored and
By Krisi Smith.
2016. 240p. illus. Firefly, $35 (9781770858169). 641.3.
A tea mixologist and owner of Brighton’s
Bluebird Tea Co., Smith provides the reader
with information on all things tea, bolstered
with vivid photographs, both current and
historical, of everything from tea drinkers to
tea pickers across the globe. The volume is
organized into four parts, leaving the reader
easily immersed in the richly steeped history
and traditions of myriad styles of teas. “Tea
Basics” covers such information as the chemistry, varieties, blends, and grades of tea; the
harvesting and processing of the tea plants;
and tea’s influence on the world. “Tea Brewing and Drinking” explains the numerous
tools that can be utilized as well as offering
recommendations on buying and storing, as
well as tasting and pairing techniques. The
“Tea Blending” section arms the reader with
recipes and ideas to become a novice mixologist in brewing such things as matcha and tea
lattes. The last section, “World of Tea,” covers growing areas, with descriptive histories
and profiles of each producing country, and
is illustrated by colorful maps and sidebars to
highlight major countries and unique tea offerings such as Tibet’s Po Cha (yak butter tea).
A glossary and index are also included. Recommended for public libraries. —Becca Smith
Crafts & Hobbies
It’s a Small World Felted Friends: Cute
and Cuddly Needle Felted Figures from
around the World.
By Sachiko Susa.
Mar. 2017. 80p. illus. Tuttle, paper, $12.95
Miniature projects continue to be popular in the fiber arts, and these needle-felted
figures range from palm-of-your-hand small
to charm-bracelet tiny. Made by punching wool roving with a single-, double-, or
triple-pointed felting needle to create firmly
formed shapes, these projects take the forms
of iconic symbols of countries around the
world, many of them animals. China is represented by pandas, Australia by kangaroos,
and New Zealand by sheep. Other countries’
objects are landmarks, such as Germany’s
castle (not exactly Neuschwanstein, but
close) and France’s Eiffel Tower. Samples
of each project are pictured in full color