September 15, 2017 Booklist 9 www.booklistonline.com
ish cuisine, but the nation’s iconic foods haven’t
spread their influence as far as might be expected. Eckhardt intends to remedy this with a
comprehensive and instructive new cookbook
exploring the full range of Turkish cooking.
For those with limited experience with Turkish eats, Eckhardt provides a useful survey of
common Turkish ingredients, pointing out the
cuisine’s most important flavors: parsley, tomato paste, dried chiles, and a rainbow of fragrant
herbs and spices. For rarer items, she offers possible substitutions. Wheat doughs come in all
guises, from super-thin pastry sheets to noodles
and yeast breads, both savory and sweet. Adept bakers may expand their repertoire with a
number of inspirations deriving from Anatolian, Kurdish, Armenian, and Syrian sources.
Full-color photographs further push readers
into the kitchen. —Mark Knoblauch
Maison Kayser’s French Pastry
Workshop: A Step-by-Step Guide.
By Eric Kayser.
Sept. 2017. 256p. illus. Black Dog & Leventhal, $29.99
(9780316439275); e-book (9780316473644). 641.7.
Names alone will generate drools: macar-ons, madeleines, choux pastries, millefeuille.
When those so wonderfully French sweets are
combined with how-tos from a master baker,
(with hopes for more),
Kayser offers the right
kind of support for anyone to replicate these
goods. He starts with
methods—then introduces the 70 recognizable recipes: everyday loaves and cakes along
with tea cakes and cookies. Encouraging, too,
are the variations on one recipe: loaves, for
instance, take on chocolate, candied lemon,
candied fruit, and coconut rum to give home
bakers confidence in mastering that item.
Color photographs are exquisite, often featuring close-ups. What readers will refer to again
and again are the step-by-step photographs and
directions for more complicated creations: classic cream-puff and puff-pastry doughs, a coffee
Yule log, meringue sandwich cake, and more.
Magnifique —Barbara Jacobs
Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends
in the Golden Age of Make-Believe.
By Cullen Murphy.
Nov. 2017. 272p. Farrar, $27 (9780374298555). 741.5.
When the Mad men and other office war-
riors took the train to Manhattan in the 1950s,
a smaller group of mild men stayed behind in
suburban Connecticut, toiling over drawing
boards and churning out newspaper comic
strips in home studios. These professional and
social cohorts, who self-mockingly deemed
themselves “The Connecticut School,” were a
curious mix of artistic bohemia and Eisenhower
-era conformity. Murphy was in the midst of
the scene as the son of John Cullen Murphy,
illustrator of Prince Valiant and Big Ben Bolt.
His memoir provides sharp but loving observa-
tions of the tight-knit clan that shared a strong
commitment to family, a love of golf, and “that
early-’50s Clark Kent-ish look.” He also offers
a brief history of the comic strip and a profile
of his father, emphasizing his WWII service.
Nearly all the Connecticut School members
are gone now, and newspaper comics, like
newspapers themselves, are on the wane. Mur-
phy’s paean to this bygone era and endangered
art form make the reader keenly feel what’s
been lost. —Gordon Flagg
The Encore: A Memoir in Three Acts.
By Charity Tillemann-Dick.
Oct. 2017. 300p. Atria, $26 (9781501102318). 782.1092.
A young American soprano is studying at
the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and poised to embark on an opera career
when she receives terrible news: she has a fatal
pulmonary condition (idiopathic pulmonary
hypertension) and, at the most, five years to
live. Undergoing not one but two double-lung
transplants in three years’ time, she survives
with the strength of her Mormon faith and the
love of family, friends, and complete strangers. Ten years after her diagnosis, she performs
around the world, has a hit classical album, and
promotes the cause of organ donation (see her
TEDMED talks). This is not an opera plot but
the true story of Tillemann-Dick. Her memoir
is structured like an opera libretto, complete
with a “cast” and comprised of three “acts,”
each divided into three scenes named for iconic
soprano roles. Her writing is clear, graceful, and
honest to a fault. As a testament to the power of
faith, love, prayer, and music, this self-portrait
of courage and grace under extreme pressure
will engage and inspire. —Carolyn Mulac
I’m Fine . . . and Other Lies.
By Whitney Cummings.
Oct. 2017. 288p. Putnam, $27 (9780735212602). 791.45.
Cummings, comedian and cocreator of the
TV show Two Broke Girls, spent her twenties
climbing to success in the Los Angeles field of
funny. She has written for numerous television
specials, garnered acclaim for her own recorded
stand-up routines, and even, if only for a short
time, boasted a network sitcom with her first
name as the title. Now, a much wiser Whitney
fulfills a childhood dream and invites readers
to explore the bizarre inner workings of her
brain via the pages of this book. Cummings’
crisp comedic voice is the driving force behind
each essay, wherein the author regales with tales
of the danger of self-deprecation and constant
people pleasing. Her anecdotes are intimate
and messy; she writes with candor about disordered eating, sexual assault, and the time her
recently rescued pit bull turned on her. Though
Cummings cautions against her former methods of deep codependency, she acknowledges
that her imperfect journey delivered her safely
to a present state of empowerment. Fans will
find a newfound trust and respect for this familiar voice. —Courtney Eathorne
Life Is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love,
and Lead Like a Star.
By Tim Federle.
Oct. 2017. 160p. Running Press, $18 (9780762462643).
With tongue-in-cheek cocktail books, a
middle-grade series, an acclaimed YA novel,
and a Broadway show to his name, Federle has
proven himself to be a veritable chameleon of
a writer. Now he offers up a self-help guide by
way of Broadway. In 50 bite-sized chapters, he
doles out life lessons and little wisdoms gleaned
from his years in the theater, sparkling with the
trademark cheeky wit so evident in his Twitter
account. A dancer-turned-writer, he has plenty
of material, all of it theater-inspired. There aren’t
any sections here, but most of the advice can be
applied to a number of situations. “Forget your
Résumé. Polish Your Reputation” addresses
how attitude and comportment are often more
valuable than experience. “Clap Loudest for the
Understudies” stresses the importance of recognizing the underappreciated, who are often
the hardest workers, and “Forgive Yourself for a
Bad Performance” reminds us to keep going after a mistake. Theater lovers will enjoy the peek
behind the curtain of the industry, but this is
valuable advice for all. —Maggie Reagan
YA: Many of these life lessons apply to
teens, and Federle writes for and works
with young adults; his breezy tone makes
this accessible for a younger audience. MR.
Voice Lessons: A Sisters Story.
By Cara Mentzel.
Oct. 2017. 272p. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (9781250105240).
Idina Mentzel had an adoring fan long before she became famous for being the voice of
Elsa in Frozen, Elphaba in Wicked, even before she was Maureen in Rent: her little sister,
Cara. In this loving memoir, Cara Mentzel details her life in Idina’s shadow. Though Idina
became a Broadway megastar, Cara’s tale of
idolatry mixed with rivalry and jealousy resonates well with any younger sibling. From an
early age, Idina could sing—really sing—and
people took notice. Cara takes readers through
her childhood with Idina—attending college,
starting a family, and beyond—as she tries to
find her own voice. Fans of Idina will be happy
to see a more intimate and tender picture of her
than ever before and will especially be moved
by Cara’s accounts of Broadway opening nights
and awards ceremonies by her sister’s side. Still,
don’t be fooled into thinking this is a sister’s
ode to her famous sibling; Cara has her own
story, filled with struggles and triumphs that
will resonate with any reader. —Emily Brock
Sports & Recreation
Betaball: How Silicon Valley and Science
Built One of the Greatest Basketball
Teams in History.
By Erik Malinowski.
Oct. 2017. 352p. Atria, $26 (9781501158193); e-book,
$13.99 (9781501158216). 796.323092.
Much the way David Kaplan chronicled the