April Publications

For Endless Feasts: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet, Ruth Reichl (Comfort Me with Apples) serves a banquet of portraits and reminiscences, from eminent writers such as Anita Loos, James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Madhur Jaffrey and Laurie Colwin. William Hamilton's childhood encounter with betrayal, in which jellied consommé is promised as a reward to the unsuspecting, and Paul Theroux's blissful journey from Denver to San Francisco by luxury railcar will entertain and refresh. (Modern Library, $24.95 418p ISBN 0-679-64250-1; Apr.)

Ian Hemphill grew up in a Australian family that pioneered in the spice business in the 1950s and it became his life's work. In The Spice and Herb Bible: A Cook's Guide he offers insight into the exotic scents and flavors of culinary herbs and spices. In this alphabetical guide, the author includes sidebars containing the botanical and common names of each subject, the family, flavor group and weight. Included are 32 pages of close-up color photographs of many of the 97 spices and herbs. (Robert Rose [Firefly, dist.], $22.95 512p ISBN 0-7788-0042-3; Apr.)

Michelle Driscoll Alioto, garden writer and host of The Inside Dirt on HGTV, and photographer John M. Hall showcase the Glorious Indoor Gardens of 13 talented practitioners. Although more of an appreciation than a how-to, this celebration provides advice on the ways these grand displays can be adapted for common houses. By examining diverse environments such as a West Palm Beach loggia, a desert landscape in Arizona, a water garden in Houston housing championship koi and rooftop greenhouses, Alioto offers a wide range of possibilities. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $35 160p ISBN 1-58479-193-4; Apr.)

In What Your Mother Never Told You About S-E-X, Hilda Hutcherson, an obstetrician-gynecologist and codirector of the New York Center for Human Sexuality at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, explains that attitudes toward sex are usually formed from information gathered in childhood. From her own experience and that of her friends and patients, Hutcherson determined that this problem had to be addressed, since women and men have the right to a satisfying sex life at every age and just need the information and the encouragement to bring it about. She begins with the basics of female and male anatomy, discussing each organ in detail, and including health care and the mechanics of sex. She stresses that the most important part of any relationship is communication between the partners. Hutcherson's comments and strategies are commonsensical and compassionate. (Putnam, $27.95 384p ISBN 0-399-14842-6; Apr.)