Simply Delectable

"Lemon"—especially when applied to cars—is often used as a term of derogation. But Lori Longbotham, former Gourmet magazine editor, has better ideas about this beautiful fruit, and her Luscious Lemon Desserts explores lemon cakes, pies, puddings, custards, cookies, ice creams, shortcakes, crêpes, truffles, peels, curds, popsicles, confections and sauces with panache and, well, zest. Over 70 recipes for decadent treats—Profiteroles, Chilled Lemon Souffle, Chocolate Ganache Tart with Lots of Lemon, Luscious Lemon and Blueberry Tiramisu, Lemon Crème Brûlée, Lemon Mascarpone—Clementine Gratins and Lemon Sorbet-Filled Lemons—accompanied by mesmerizing color photos, convincingly make Longbotham's point that "lemons are the divas of desserts." This book offers some of the same tips on buying and zesting lemons as Lemon Zest, but otherwise there's impressively little overlap between the two. Anyone craving summer desserts will find these recipes mouthwateringly irresistible. (Chronicle, $19.95 144p ISBN 0-8118-2893-X; July 1) The same author expounds on her tasty theme in Lemon Zest: More Than 175 Recipes with a Twist, which serves up drinks (from Lemon Barley Water to Lemon Vodka); appetizers (Lemon-Cucumber Sandwiches, Lemon-Ginger Garlic Bread); main courses (Snapper with Lemon Browned Butter and Capers, Pork Tenderloin with Lemon and Fennel) and desserts (Lemon-Blueberry Scones with Lemon Curd). Along with such recipes, Longbotham explains the differences between various types of lemons and offers tips on the art of zesting, explaining that "most of the joy of the lemon is in the... aptly named zest...." As writer Margaret Visser observed—and Longbotham quotes—"Almost everything we eat contains at least a tiny amount of acid, or we would find it insipid." (Broadway, $15 paper 288p ISBN 0-7679-0617-9; June 5) Preparing sushi is intimidating to most Americans, not least because it requires meticulous attention to presentation, as well as an intricate and subtle understanding of textures and tastes. In Sushi Made Easy, Michele Gomes and Noel Cottrell demystify one of the urbanite's favorite foods, outlining the necessary utensils, equipment (yes, readers should get one of those cool bamboo rolling mats) and main ingredients, and explaining how to cook the sticky rice exactly right and how to buy and cut the fish. They guide the reader through the process of preparing nigiri-sushi (fish served over balls of rice), then explain how to make sushi rolls, inside-out rolls (rice outside the seaweed), hand rolls, California hand rolls, rolled sweet omelets and clear soups, concluding with the all-important setting of the table. Fittingly, the book is a beautiful aesthetic experience; sensuous, tactile color photographs appear on almost every page. (Sterling, $12.95 paper 80p ISBN 1-85974-436-2; June) Those wishing to indulge their cooking-school fantasies will want to check out The Marilyn Harris Cooking School Cookbook. Mississippi-born Harris (Cooking with Marilyn; More Cooking with Marilyn) is a radio and TV personality who runs a cooking school in Cincinnati and has been dubbed that city's "gastronomic guru" by Cincinnati Magazine. She has studied cooking in America, the U.K. and France, and blends American cuisine with that of Europe in a most au courant fashion. From appetizers like Smoked Salmon Roulade with Onion Cream, Lentil Salad, and Dill and Lemon Dressing, to such entrées as Risotto with Roasted Radicchio and Toasted Pine Nuts, or Flank Steak in Spicy Southwest Marinade, to simple concepts like Marilyn's Chicken Salad, her recipes are lucidly explained. Harris's tone is relaxed and encouraging, like the best of teachers. (Pelican, $21.95 256p ISBN 1-56554-076-X; June) Chef and prolific cookbook author Norman Kolpas presents Buongiorno! Breakfast and Brunch, Italian Style, sure to quiet the noisiest of rumbling stomachs early in the day. Kolpas assembles an array of possibilities, borrowing from a culinary tradition that, he says, pays scant attention to the first meal. From beverages to sweets, in dishes such as Baked Eggs Florentine, Artichoke and Black Olive Frittata, Provolone and Ham Strata, Mochaccino Ricotta Pancakes, Three Cheese Lasagna and Maple-Walnut Polenta, as well as various pizzas and sweet tarts, one can find sublime satisfaction. Chris Cassidy's luxurious photos celebrate the road to breakfast heaven. (Contemporary, $19.95 paper 192p ISBN 0-8092-9733-7; May)

Men and Women in Their Prime

Dr. Yosh Taguchi (Private Parts: An Owner's Guide to the Male Anatomy), a leading urologist, has written a book for men newly diagnosed with prostate disease (enlargement, inflammation or cancer) who are seeking the best treatment (medication, surgery) and recuperative options (when Viagra fails to help, etc.), as well as for their concerned partners. This book is forthright, positive and, thus, aptly named The Prostate: Everything You Need to Know. Although doctors today do know a lot about this enigmatic gland, Taguchi does not hesitate to explain when the territory remains unclear. Readers will appreciate his frankness as much as his warmth. (Firefly, $14.95 paper 144p ISBN 1-55209-553-3; June) Approximately one U.S. woman in four will suffer symptoms of uterine fibroids in her lifetime. Little is known about what causes them, but their symptoms include anemia, fatigue and back pain. In Sex, Lies, and the Truth about Uterine Fibroids: A Journey from Diagnosis to Treatment to Renewed Good Health, Carla Dionne, executive director of the National Uterine Fibroids Foundation, assesses treatment options for this common condition. The most frequently recommended treatment is a hysterectomy; indeed, over 200,000 women per year undergo hysterectomies for this relatively benign disease, despite the fact that there are alternatives. Dionne herself successfully overcame fibroids by other means and is committed to letting other women know that hysterectomy is not the only course of treatment available. Thoroughly researched, her book arms women who suffer from uterine fibroids with important information and, even more importantly, options for good health. (Avery, $14.95 paper 366p ISBN 1-58333-070-4; May) In The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex, sex therapist Barbara Keesling (How to Make Love All Night; Super Sexual Orgasm) asserts that nearly every "good" girl yearns to be "bad"—and offers tips for unleashing the bad girl within. Keesling, who worked for a sex therapist as a surrogate partner for 10 years before becoming one herself, explores the inhibitions that women have about sex, and explains how you can dress, speak, walk, tease, use sex toys, give blow jobs and have orgasms like the bad girl of your dreams. In addition, Keesling, herself a former "good" girl—meaning that like most women, she had learned to hide her wild desires from the world—offers her personal story as inspiration for all women who want to learn how to "feel good about being bad." (M. Evans, $21.95 244p ISBN 0-87131-934-9; May) African American women are prey in disproportionate numbers to a range of preventable illnesses in middle age, according to Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Marilyn Hughes Gaston and clinical psychologist Gayle K. Porter. Also in their prime, and recognizing the lack of good information on the subject, they offer support and advice to their sisters in Prime Time: The African American Woman's Complete Guide to Midlife Health and Wellness. Because many black women are without partners and have been caretakers for their children, parents and extended families (along with, the authors acknowledge, most likely having dealt with racism, sexism and other isms), they may not be fully aware of their own needs and well-being. This is the perfect time to take stock and to make the changes necessary to fully experience and enjoy the next chapters of their lives. With facts, discussions of the various health risks, remedies, psychological underpinnings, tests, anecdotes, advice and generous lists of resources and further reading, they extend a plethora of knowledge and support to their readers. 8-city author tour.(Ballantine, $25.95 544p ISBN 0-345-43215-0; on-sale date: May 1)

"Mom" Upside Down Spells "Wow"!

Coining a brand-new phrase, New York City book editor Amy Einhorn offers new moms advice for surviving their baby's first six weeks in The Fourth Trimester: And You Thought Labor Was Hard... Advice, Humor and Inspiration for New Moms on Surviving the First Six Weeks—and Beyond. Her earthy wit is a refreshing change from the usual earnestness of child-rearing books. She's got plenty of tips on infant care—yes, moms do have to take a baby's temperature rectally—but also knows the mother has to take care of herself: "Baby Gap credit works at the adult Gap, and you're going to need some in-between clothes to wear before you can fit into your old clothes." On women who are still thin after childbirth, Einhorn is reassuring: "Those people are mutations. They are not normal." On having sex six weeks after giving birth, as recommended by most doctors: "If you wait until you have enough energy, you're going to be a grandmother." Agent, Victoria Sanders.(Crown, $9.95 paper 96p ISBN 0-8129-9106-0; May) Authors Suzanne M. Johnson and Elizabeth O'Connor are experts on the challenges facing lesbian families: both developmental psychologists, they are coparenting two daughters. Their book For Lesbian Parents: Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy and Proud offers help on explaining lesbianism to children and explores what lesbian parents can do to help children explain their family situation to their peers. Johnson and O'Connor also explore the complexity of dealing with the attitudes of the outside world, including relatives, schools, and doctors or mental health specialists. There aren't many books addressing the needs of the ongoing lesbian baby boom, and the enthusiastic blurb from Lesléa Newman, author of the acclaimed Heather Has Two Mommies, should help focus well-deserved attention to this one. (Guilford, $15.95 paper 254p ISBN 1-57230-663-7; May 13)