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The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult

Josh Shipp. Harper Wave, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-265406-9

Youth advocate Shipp (Jump Ship) provides an accessible but superficial primer for helping parents understand and guide their kids through the often confounding adolescent years. With a colloquial and straightforward style, Shipp discusses major developmental phases and challenges common to young adults ages 12–18. He says this account is backed up by the work of “an incredible team of researchers, psychologists, and scientists,” few of whom are actually mentioned in the text. Shipp addresses an array of typical problems faced by adolescents, including issues with communication, drugs, trust, dangerous behavior, screen time, school, and sex, each one accompanied by simple and logical action steps. A former at-risk foster child himself, Shipp seems to orient this book to parents of “problem” kids, declaring that no matter how troubled, “every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” Full of sound bites (“What you don’t talk out, you act out”), lists (“The Seven Things Every Teen Needs to Hear”), and other refrigerator-magnet-like reminders, this book reads like a transcript from one of Shipp’s public-speaking gigs. Parents will find more substantive info in Frances Jensen’s The Teenage Brain on why teens act the way they do, as well as better advice and less hype. Agent: Erin Niumata, Folio Literary. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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The Chicago Manual of Style: 17th Edition

University of Chicago Press editorial staff. Univ. of Chicago, $70 (1,184p) ISBN 978-0-226-28705-8

The cerulean-jacketed 17th edition of the venerable style guide responds to 2017’s pressing concerns. In addition to the buzzed-about lowercasing of internet and dehyphenation of email, it contains new guidelines for citing tweets and video games, retracting discredited journal articles, and managing notes appropriately for simultaneous print and electronic editions. Speaking of which, the manual itself has had its chapter and section titles restyled for keyword-based searchability. In a pair of nods to respect for transgender and nonbinary people, the new edition codifies the use of a singular they/themself as a personal pronoun and adds cis- to the prefixes discussed in the hyphenation table. (The manual has not, however, changed its position that using the gender-neutral pronoun as a replacement for “he or she” should be avoided in formal writing.) The most significant addition to the text comes in the chapter on grammar and usage, with a new 15-page section on syntax that nicely complements older sections discussing the parts of speech and the correct usage of particular words; it will be especially useful for those whose grasp of English syntax is primarily by ear, rather than formally taught. As ever, this manual stands as an indispensable and thoughtfully constructed English language and style resource for those compelled, by enthusiasm or responsibility, to attend to the minutiae of written expression. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber

Joe Clement and Matt Miles. Chicago Review, $18.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-61373-951-8

In this astute exposé, teachers and education bloggers Clement and Miles team up to draw attention to what they see as the overuse of technology in education. According to the authors (who claim not to be antitechnology curmudgeons), too much screen time at home and in the classroom has resulted in students who lack focus, critical-thinking skills, and—despite the proliferation of social media platforms—meaningful social engagement. Also alarming, Clement and Miles contend, is that the educational system has bought into the “myth” that kids benefit from high-tech learning environments: they observe that the research supporting this claim comes via the very “ed-tech” companies that stand to benefit financially from selling technology to schools. The authors shore up their stance with anecdotes and statistics (e.g., the average teen spends nine hours a day consuming entertainment media) and share some worrisome reports from classrooms populated by “digital natives,” such as one concerning AP economics students too distracted by their phones to complete an elementary paper-cutting exercise. Many chapters conclude with action steps parents can take to limit screen time at home; the authors also give educators ideas for limiting technology use at school. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Matthew Walker. Simon & Schuster, $27 (340p) ISBN 978-1-5011-4431-8

Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, begins his first book by reminding readers that until quite recently, the routine that most of us go through nightly was a mystery. Adopting a conversational style that belies his research background, Walker conveys his insights into the process of sleep with enthralling clarity. He recounts how once, after giving a lecture, he was approached by a pianist, who made the seemingly incidental remark that, after a good night’s sleep he can “just play” even demanding pieces, leading Walker to recognize how closely related learning is to rest. He also sheds new light on well-covered areas, revealing that Freud had developed a more biologically founded approach to dreams before formulating his famous theory. The biggest takeaway is not that lack of sleep can literally kill, but that most of us, without being in mortal danger, are still not getting nearly enough. Anyone who reads this book will (though perhaps only after a good night’s sleep) learn a great deal about one of life’s most basic, but also most profound, needs. Agent: Tina Bennett, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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The Long Distance Runner’s Guide to Injury Prevention and Treatment: How to Avoid Common Problems and Deal with Them When They Happen

Brian J. Krabak, Grant S. Lipman, and Brandee L. Waite. Skyhorse, $22.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5107-1790-9

Physicians and runners Krabak, Lipman (The Wilderness First Aid Handbook), and Waite have collected a comprehensive array of facts about long-distance running in this wide-ranging examination of injuries related to the sport. The coauthors observe that, while up to 79% of long-distance runners will face injury during a given year, the sport is nevertheless growing in popularity and is associated with overall superior health. (The opening chapter provides the persuasive argument that from an evolutionary perspective it’s actually “abnormal to not run on a regular basis.”) The book is divided into four parts: “The Distance Running Athlete”; “Evaluation, Treatment and Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injuries”; “Common Medical Illnesses”; and “After the Run.” Each of the 23 chapters is prefaced by a section called “Key Points” that makes the detailed, science-based advice more digestible. Although some runners may feel drawn to studying the book in its entirety, most will likely opt to zero in on personally pertinent issues—e.g., running in high altitudes, heat- or cold-related illness, or foot care. Thorough and well researched, this reference will be indispensable for runners with a proactive attitude toward their own safety. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection

Scott C. Anderson, with John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan. National Geographic, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4262-1846-0

Science journalist Anderson and researchers Cryan and Dinan outline the latest in scientific study suggesting that disorders of the body’s microbiota—its community of microorganisms—may be linked to mental-health issues such as anxiety and depression. These microbes, called “psychobiotics,” send messages to the brain via neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. The researchers favor dietary changes and psychobiotic supplements as ways of restoring the body’s microbiota to healthy levels. Regarding diet, they note that American foods, often processed and high in sugar and white flour, can be very unhealthy for microbiota: “Our evolutionary history... didn’t prime us for glazed doughnuts.” In a handy guide format, the authors list a variety of medical conditions, including Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and even autism spectrum disorders, annotating which psychobiotics might be effective in treating each. In addition, they instruct readers in reading and understanding psychobiotic-supplement labels and list the brands that have undergone rigorous testing. This is an accessible guide for a lay audience (though perhaps not for the especially squeamish, who may blanch at this gut-level view of the body) on science that could radically alter the understanding of anxiety and depression, along with a host of other conditions. Agent: Victoria Pryor, Arcadia Literary Agency. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis

Liz Crain et al. Tin House, $26.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-941040-58-4

Cannabis culture goes mainstream in this lavishly illustrated artisanal guide to cultivating and consuming marijuana. Food writer Crain (The Food Lover’s Guide to Portland) and Nichole Graf, Micah Sherman, and David Stein— the team behind Raven Grass, a cannabis specialty store in Olympia, Wash.—fashion marijuana cultivation as a high-end, enjoyable hobby in the style of brewing beer or growing orchids. Their guide includes short profiles on a variety of popular strains—with notes on flavor, growing tips, and effects of consumption­—before getting into the basics of growing your own. The authors provide blueprints for four types of greenhouses (or “growing rooms”) along with requirements for humidity, light, airflow, propagation clones, and flowering cycles. The sections on soil composition and pest management address the needs of certain strains, but are also broadly relevant to home greenhouses in general. The instructions for making hash, rosin, and tincture are easy enough for hobbyists. Parts of the book, particularly the chapters on harvest and culinary use, are more art than practical guide; still there’s plenty of useful information for newbies. The stylish presentation of the book and its useful information give it broad appeal among open-minded gardeners and 420-friendly readers. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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Cook + Cork: A Chef and a Sommelier Spill the Secrets of Food and Wine Pairing

Harry Mills and Chris Horn. Heavy Restaurant Group, $39.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-692-75100-8

Foodies and armchair oenophiles are sure to appreciate sommelier Horn and chef Mills’s collaborative treatise on the intersection of food and wine and how to create perfect pairings at home. Instead of offering up an alphabetical listing or a varietal tour of wine, the authors start broadly and end specifically, with chapters focused on a wine’s qualities (light-bodied whites, sweet whites, tannic reds, etc.) and how those qualities can complement or amplify flavors in a handful of dishes. The book pivots on the concept of “mind mouth”—a term the authors use to explain how tastes are perceived. Examples take on the form of assignments that wonderfully illustrate the authors’ points: a full-bodied white such as viognier can be served with pan-roasted halibut; a tannic red such as cabernet, petite sirah, or carménère can be paired with braised beef short ribs with gorgonzola polenta; and sparkling wine can simply and satisfyingly be served with, yes, potato chips. Sage advice on navigating big-box stores, deciphering labels, picking the right wines without spending a fortune (why break the bank on a top-shelf pinot noir when a lower-priced beaujolais is equally satisfying?), and saving wine for special people instead of special occasions further connects readers with the authors. Light, inclusive, and illuminating, this volume is sure to inspire a trip to the local wine shop as well as the market. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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Cooking at Home with Bridget & Julia

Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster. America’s Test Kitchen, $35 (320p) ISBN 978-1-945256-16-5

The latest cookbook from Lancaster and Davison, the hosts of the America’s Test Kitchen TV show, will be welcomed by fans of the show. The 150 recipes in the book are the authors’ favorites for entertaining family and friends and are accompanied by charming anecdotes that let readers get to know Lancaster and Davison better. A chapter on weekend breakfasts runs the gamut from a simple recipe for overnight steel-cut oatmeal to an elaborate eggs florentine to the charmingly named “cat head biscuits” (which are the size of a cat’s head). Dinners are homey and as good for a weeknight family supper as they are for a gathering of friends. There are a good variety of chicken dishes, including Alabama barbecue chicken, weeknight roast chicken, and chicken enchiladas with red chile sauce. Old-time favorites such as cornflake-breaded pork chops sit next to elegant preparations such as a fish meunière with browned butter and lemon. Simple yet impressive recipes abound, such as one for spaghetti with lemon, basil, and scallops, as well as a recipe for pomegranate-braised boneless beef short ribs. The casual-entertaining section offers recipes for every occasion. It includes recipes for paella on the grill and Korean fried chicken wings. Rounding out this expert, accessible cookbooks are desserts, which promise joy for the whole family and include a creamy Texas-style blueberry cobbler and an impressive banana pudding. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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Milk Street: The New Home Cooking

Christopher Kimball. Little, Brown, $40 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-43728-8

Kimball, the former Cook’s Illustrated editor, launched Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street in 2016, a cooking venture that includes a school, magazine, and public TV and radio shows. This cookbook is the first from Milk Street, and its 125 recipes are an eclectic mix of dishes. All the recipes offer the reliability that Kimball is famous for, and there are lists of pantry staples and cooking tips included with some recipes to help readers get dinner on the table with ease. Flavors are gathered from around the world, with “supper” recipes that include Spanish spice-crusted pork tenderloin bites; soba noodles with asparagus, miso butter, and egg; and Peruvian pesto, made with spinach instead of basil. Egg dishes go from a simple scramble cooked in olive oil to curry braised eggs that promise to reinvent breakfast, and possibly dinner. Vegetable recipes are particularly interesting, and include cracked potatoes with vermouth, coriander, and fennel; sweet-and-spicy ginger green beans; and a sweet potato gratin with vanilla bean and bay leaves that shakes up the Thanksgiving staple. Dessert combinations are unexpected, such as rosemary–pine nut cornmeal cookies and date-stuffed semolina cookies. There are also nontraditional takes on standards, such as tahini-swirl brownies and rye chocolate chip cookies. Kimball’s fans will be pleased with his latest cookbook. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 08/18/2017 | Details & Permalink

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