Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Subscribers can click the "login" button below to access the Table-of-Contents Database. (If you have not done so already, you will need to set up your digital access by going here.)

Or for immediate access you can click the "subscribe" link below.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries) , Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

For any other questions about PublshersWeekly.com, email service@publishersweekly.com.

Login or

Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm

Annemarie Ahearn. Roost, $35 (240p) ISBN 978-1-61180-332-7

After stints in Europe and New York, Ahearn moved to rural Maine; in 2009 she opened a cooking school where she stages the monthly seasonal suppers featured in this cookbook. The April menu incorporates locally foraged periwinkles, “cobalt blue when wet and often spotted with a baby barnacle or two,” and braised rabbit; the September menu features fall greens with Irish blue cheese, and chicken braised in red wine. The author’s distinct voice relays recipe instructions and explains both what to do and why to do it. New England traditions pop up, such as brown bread baked in a can to pair with smoked mackerel and pickled cucumbers, and maple syrup as an ingredient in chocolate bread pudding. Occasionally things get overwrought: it’s a nice touch to include drinks with the menus, but the recipe for a pint of stout that basically says to pour it into a chilled glass feels like a waste of a page, and it’s a stretch to liken grilled lamb chops to an Argentine asado (which is a whole roasted animal). The author’s strong connection to the land smooths any bumps, however, and is likely to appeal to both locals and those “from away.” (May)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Sketches of a Black Cat: Story of a Night Flying WWII Pilot and Artist

Ron Miner. Riverdale, $20 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-5350-5488-1

Miner uses the diary, drawings, and WWII memorabilia of his late father, Howard, to piece together an account of his father’s experiences as a WWII pilot in the Pacific Theater. He combines Howard’s writings with interviews with WWII veterans, crafting a loving tribute to the young men who fought in WWII. He begins with the Sunday brunch date when Howard heard President Roosevelt announce the attack on Pearl Harbor, moving through the hardships, terror, and tedium of fighting a war. Howard, a college student at the outbreak of war, enlisted with the Navy and became a pilot with the Black Cats squadron. The squadron primarily flew at night, scouting for Japanese ships and enemy positions or doing rescue missions. Miner mixes training and flight stories with observations on the importance to enlisted men of cigarettes, alcohol, movies, and mail from home. Reports of friends’ deaths and needless losses throughout the war are jarring for their regularity, but lighthearted moments arise in Howard’s confessed awe at his friends’ successes with women and his own ineptitude. Despite some awkward writing and a need for more extensive notes and definitions, Miner does his father and other WWII veterans proud. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time

Dean Buonomano. Norton, $26.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-393-24794-7

Buonomano (Brain Bugs), a neuroscientist and professor at UCLA, explores how our brains shape our perception of time, as well as how time itself has shaped our brains. Evolved for optimizing our survival, our brains mark the passage of time and remember the past, using that knowledge to predict the future. For example, Buonomano notes that upon hearing a list, a person will assume that the items in it have occurred in the same order in which they were listed. How our brains process language is dependent on how they process patterns in time. A person’s internal, circadian clock is fueled by biology through a neurological “feedback loop” that is stabilized by chaotically shifting signals in the brain. For a neurologist, this is all pretty common knowledge. Things get really intriguing for readers when Buonomano looks at how our sense of time fits into our comprehension of spacetime, Einsteinian relativity, and the nature of the physical universe. Buonomano covers a lot of territory, but each section is vividly written and accessible, and he treats the most complex topics with refreshing clarity. Readers looking for a thoughtful and provocative exploration of time will find this a worthwhile resource. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream

Stefan Al. MIT, $34.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-262-03574-3

Al, a Dutch architect and professor of urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, provides a tour of the Las Vegas Strip that is erudite, entertaining, and impossible to conduct in person, given the breakneck pace of demolition, refurbishment, and replacement that has been that city’s only constant. These shifts, Al convincingly argues, aren’t an outlier but rather a physical chronology of the American leisure imagination, from the Wild West to the atomic age to corporate glitz to Disney to the age of “starchitecture.” When cultural trends percolate elsewhere, they are poured into foundations in Vegas. The argument is fascinating both in its larger sweep and in its particulars. Al is a droll observer of culture and design evolution. The city is a story of fripperies constantly being added and altered: Circus Circus, a circus-themed hotel and event venue, made a splash until its owners realized that aerialists were distracting gamblers. Casinos rapidly abandoned the ’90s theme park trend when they learned that families spent far less per capita than visitors without children. Al’s Las Vegas is a story of the American national identity, and once you’ve bought in, this compulsive read won’t lose you a dime. Color photos. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Post Grad: Five Women and Their First Year Out of the Ivy League

Caroline Kitchener. Ecco, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-242949-0

Kitchener, who graduated from Princeton in 2014, reports on the experiences of five young women (including herself) in the first year out of college, a transition she likens to “leaving a pool and jumping into the ocean.” The women she profiles are all Princeton graduates, but they vary in their aspirations, values, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. These differences strengthen the threads of the narrative as Kitchener and her peers undergo major changes in their personal and professional lives. With a strong command of narrative, she draws on genuine moments of stress, such as breakups or familial strife, to keep readers interested while highlighting professional transformations and obstacles. One woman chooses to commit to her art; another prepares for medical school; others look to the start-up world for employment. Kitchener reports on topics such as sexual orientation, religion, dating culture, drug abuse, and depression, all of which the women deal with in turn. Kitchener excels at sprinkling the multiple story lines with statistics to add clarity and insight to a truly challenging stage of life. Her book is highly recommended for recent grads stumbling through their newfound independence. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War

Andrew Carroll. Penguin Press, $30 (416p) ISBN 978-1-59420-648-1

Carroll (Here Is Where), creator of the Legacy Project war correspondence archives, leads readers through the WWI experience via personal correspondence from soldiers in the trenches. Selecting excerpts from thousands of letters to highlight the human perception of the war, Carroll embeds these recollections in a clear, chronological war narrative that takes the reader from the beginning of the war in 1914 through President Wilson’s decision to enter the war in 1917 and the U.S. military’s combat experience for the remainder of the conflict. Carroll uses the personal correspondence of Gen. Pershing, the U.S. commander in France, as a means of establishing the war timeline. Varied American perspectives of the war are included, and the letters of African-Americans and women figure prominently in the work. Experts on WWI may not find much new in this volume, but for those who are not familiar with the war or only know its broad outlines, Carroll has produced an engaging and informative introduction to a war that has been largely relegated to the shadows by the subsequent global conflagration. Agent: Miriam Altshuler, DeFiore and Company. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
International Express: New Yorkers on the 7 Train

Stéphane Tonnelat and William Kornblum. Columbia Univ, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-0-231-18148-8

In this thought-provoking book, ethnographer Tonnelat and sociology professor Kornblum (At Sea in the City) explore how mass transit shapes the identities of New Yorkers. The authors use a wide array of perspectives from the 7 subway line, which was designated a national landmark for its role in the lives of the varied communities of American immigrants who live along its route. The ethnographic approach is academic, but the authors avoid jargon. The book covers the expansion of the subway lines into Queens and the concomitant effects on the city’s population. Its strength lies in the analysis of interactions among the various non-passenger players at a major station, such as vendors, Metropolitan Transit Association staff, and the police, as well as the etiquette and unwritten rules of riders. New Yorkers will especially be fascinated by the authors’ examination of subway competencies, including how savvy riders maximize their chances of getting a seat. Through their study of the subway system as a microcosm of a diverse society, Tonnelat and Kornblum make a significant contribution to urban studies. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science

Marcus du Sautoy. Viking, $30 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2180-2

With uncommon grace, this work illuminates the strides and limitations of humans’ quest to understand nature via math and science. Du Sautoy (The Music of the Primes), Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, takes readers to seven different “edges” of knowledge and shows why “Newton, Leibniz, and Galileo were perhaps the last scientists to know all that was known.” From chaos, which “placed huge limits on what we humans could ever hope to know,” to consciousness, to infinity itself, each edge “represents a horizon beyond which we cannot see.” Patiently and cleverly explaining basic principles, du Sautoy begins most sections with a simple touchstone and builds from there, deftly rendering otherwise recondite theories: a pair of dice leads to probability, a cello to the nature of matter, a pot of uranium to quantum physics. One-on-one interviews with scientists and du Sautoy’s descriptions of his participation in various experiments breathe life into cold data, as when the author perceives his consciousness in another person or observes the illusion of his free will in an fMRI. This brilliant, well-written exploration of our universe’s biggest mysteries will captivate the curious and leave them pondering “natural phenomena that will never be tamed and known.” Agent: Zoë Pagnamenta, Zoë Pagnamenta Agency. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Castles: Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain

Marc Morris. Pegasus, $27.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-68177-359-9

In this fresh and accessible slice of medieval history, Morris (The Norman Conquest) uses the architectural history of castles in Great Britain from the time of Edward the Confessor in 1051 until the start of the Reformation in 1660 to shed light on monarchy and nobility, architecture, and technology. The author traces the development of castle conceptually and physically, describing each structure’s features in great detail and then explaining the motives behind its design and the experiences of its residents. He begins with the simple motte and bailey structure, a design first seen in Normandy, and moves to the immense Welsh castles built in stone by Edward I and later by England and Scotland’s powerful and wealthy landowners. He explores the defensible component of the castles and the influence of technological advances on their design. Morris’s lively and accessible prose makes this a great entry point for readers new to English medieval history, though armchair travelers and readers interested in architecture will want more visuals. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family

Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch. Columbia Univ., $30 (224p) ISBN 978-0-231-18102-0

This thoughtful and sobering memoir weaves the beauty and tragedy of Haynes’s family story into the complex history of Harlem. Haynes (Red Lines, Black Space) employs the book as a record, a way to secure the knowledge of his family’s contributions to African-American history. His grandfather, George Edmund Haynes, largely forgotten to history, was a scholar, researcher of the Great Migration, and cofounder of the National Urban League. His grandmother was noted children’s book author Elizabeth Ross Haynes. They resided in a resplendent home on Harlem’s posh Convent Avenue. Despite these bourgeois roots, the Hayneses’ fortunes rose and fell. Haynes lays bare their triumphs and blemishes. The relationship between his mother, Daisy Haynes, a respected program analyst, and father, George Haynes Jr., a parole officer, was replete with deception and infidelity. Over the marriage’s course, the two watched their Harlem home decay. Haynes found success, like his grandfather, as a scholar, but tragedy befell his two brothers: Alan was murdered, and George struggled with drug use and mental illness. Like Harlem’s story, the memoir is bittersweet, painting a full and complicated picture of black upper-class life over generations. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/17/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.