Log In

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

Get a digital subscription to Publishers Weekly for only $18.95/month.

Your subscription gives you instant access exclusive feature articles on notable figures in the publishing industry, he latest industry news, interviews of up and coming authors and bestselling authors, and access over 200,000 book reviews.

PW "All Access" site license members have access to PW's subscriber-only website content. To find out more about PW's site license subscription options 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.

Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs

Bill Cunningham. Penguin Press, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-55870-5

The legendary New York Times photographer whose extraordinary eye captured high fashion and high society in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours” turns his focus to his early years and early career in this surprising and sprightly posthumous memoir. Cunningham (1929–2016), who grew up in an Irish Catholic suburb of Depression-era Boston, recalls his first brush with fashion at age four when he donned his sister’s pink organza party dress. Though reprimanded by his Boston-proper mother, the incident didn’t deter him from a lifelong obsession with clothes and couture. After dropping out of Harvard at 19, Cunningham moved to New York, where he worked in carriage-trade retail and then struck out on his own as a high-end hat designer whose often outrageous millinery was inspired by fruit, fish, and fowl. His antics and adventures—hiding behind plants at a Chanel show or under a table at a debutante ball, sneaking into the Waldorf Astoria to glimpse Queen Elizabeth—give readers a front-row seat on the mid-century fashion world, and the black and white photos, many featuring a dapper, young Cunningham beaming ear to ear, document a fantastical bygone era. For all the book’s frivolity, Cunningham is a truth teller in an artifice-draped world: he calls some of the customers who bought his hats “star-spangled bitches... full of conniving tricks to get the price as low as possible” and singles out Women’s Wear Daily publisher John Fairchild as a fake who played favorites. The glamorous world of 20th-century fashion comes alive in Cunningham’s masterful memoir both because of his exuberant appreciation for stylish clothes and his sharp assessment of those who wore them. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Ready, Set, Go! A Gentle Parenting Guide to Calmer, Quicker Potty Training

Sarah Ockwell-Smith. TarcherPerigee, $16 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-14-313190-8

Parenting expert Ockwell-Smith (Gentle Discipline) presents a practical, reassuring plan for toilet training based on four major components: teamwork, compassion, being informed, and offering no rewards. She begins by dispelling myths (for instance, it’s not true that girls are ready before boys) and examining the physiological and behavioral signs of “readiness” (one indicator, for instance, may be that the child’s diaper remains dry for two or more hours, indicating increasing bladder capacity). She then lays out her plan, advising that parents set aside a minimum of three to seven days to devote to the initial stage; during the first three, the parent or caregiver stays home with the child, supporting his or her learning process (rewards such as stickers or treats, she claims, are not necessary or desirable if a child is truly ready). In fact, Ockwell-Smith asserts, there is no “perfect time” to begin: put “convenience aside” and take the child’s lead. She covers all the basics: choosing a toilet (no frills is best), dealing with accidents, nighttime training, and more, and also includes a helpful question-and-answer section addressing common problems. Herself the mother of four, Ockwell-Smith has a gentle tone and commonsense approach that will assist parents facing this exciting but frequently anxiety-laden transition with their child. (June)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own Backyard

Madrone Stewart. Microcosm, $9.95 trade paperback (128p) ISBN 978-1-62106-021-5

Stewart, who for five years worked at a California cannabis farm collective, unabashedly “dole[s] out [her] biased beliefs from cover to cover” in a personal and haphazardly organized handbook for “women, queer folks, and folks of color” who are “radically excluded... from the emerging cannabis industry” and wish to learn to farm mindfully. She brings plenty of experience to the book, having most recently operated her own farm, but the book bounces awkwardly between a general overview of small-scale cultivation and her own personal preferences. She discusses clones, for instance, but does not give much advice on growing from them because she prefers seeds. Elsewhere, she mentions mulching (a technique for retaining moisture in soil), but provides no details other than that she does not do it. As much as Stewart despises what she sees as the legal pot industry’s centering of “capitalist, straight, white, cis men,” her book doesn’t offer much for hopeful gardeners looking for an alternative way to grow their own. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Stitch & Sew: Beautifully Embroider 31 Projects

Aneela Hoey. C&T, $26.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-61745-639-8

Designer Hoey’s clear-cut how-to book is chock-full of ideas for producing accessories that incorporate embroidery. Readers get a two-for-one primer on the basics of embroidery and sewing. Hoey starts with embroidery, covering techniques, including positioning the pattern and caring for the project when it is finished. The book then turns to sewing, concentrating on setting in zippers, essential to her projects and often daunting for beginners. Straight stitches and back stitches include fern and satin, plus the more intricate Van Dyke and fishbone. The book’s projects include variations of pouches, clutches, and cases, with half a dozen embroidery designs for each, complete with printable or downloadable patterns. The finished items are simple and practical and the projects serve as a quick and easy pastime for prolific embroiderers. Color photos. (July)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Engineering for Cats: Improve the Life of Your Pet Through 10 Ingenious Projects

Mac Delaney. Workman, $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-7611-8990-9

Delaney, an aerospace engineer, puts his professional experience to work for the feline set in this droll guide to building furniture for cats. The 10 projects range from a simple scratching post made of leftover materials and a basic shelf to more challenging items, like a self-contained drinking fountain, a drawbridge-style cat door, and a cat-sized exercise wheel. Each project addresses a common problem that arises when cohabiting with cats. “Cats are territorial, so when they see where you spend most of your time, such as at your keyboard... or in your bed... [they] interpret those as places of power,” Delaney quips, before introducing the two-tier bunk bed designed to give cats a place of power of their own. (Delaney recommends “placing a clean pair of black pants on them.”) The book includes clear, copious step-by-step illustrations on cuts, installation, and even the splash mechanics of fountains. Specific shopping lists, complete with measurements and quantities, as well as the necessary tools (alternate options, when applicable, are also included), ensure readers have all the required materials and equipment on hand from the get-go. Buoyed with a fun, breezy tone, Delaney’s practical guide gives cat owners everything they need to customize their favorite feline’s environment. (July)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Weaving on a Little Loom: Techniques, Patterns, and Projects for Beginners

Fiona Daly. Princeton Architectural Press, $24.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-61689-712-3

“While weaving can be inherently complex and technical, it provides a fantastic framework for creative expression,” writes Daly at the start of her gorgeous introduction to weaving. Daly, a textile designer in London, creates handwoven textiles using locally sourced yarn, and her expertise as a hand-weaver informs this encyclopedia of techniques. Her “welcome to weaving” includes history, instructions for choosing a loom, clear explanations of tools and materials, and a lesson on how a frame loom works. The greater part of this guide covers handweaving techniques: choosing the right shuttle, joining wefts, applying rug-making techniques, and edging (machine zigzagging, fringing, tessellating, and knotting). One drawback to Daly’s instructions is that, although she includes a glossary in the back, she employs jargon (“sett,” “shed”) before defining the terms. The five projects—a wall hanging, purse, place mat, cushion cover, and looped bag—are all beautifully showcased in earthy tones complemented by the book’s matte pages. Weaving, Daly explains, is not a “weekend project” but a commitment; her alluring book convinces readers it’s worth the time and effort. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Pilates for Living: Get Stronger, Fitter and Healthier for an Active Later Life

Harri Angell. Bloomsbury, $20 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4729-4778-9

Writing with the over-50 crowd in mind, Pilates instructor Angell share a useful guide to slowing down the aging process and preparing a foundation for a healthy future. Following a brief biography of founder Joseph Pilates (frail and sickly as a child, in adulthood he became a bodybuilder and athlete while developing his fitness program), Angell leads into the basics of a beginning Pilates routine, from breathing to balance. To illustrate poses, she employs photographs of fit men and women from the book’s target age group, beginning with warm-up poses, easy bending, and mobility exercises. Throughout the book are professional advice sidebars from an osteopath and a physician, as well as testimonials from Pilates students of varied ages, from 49 to 70, describing their positive results (“My back is stronger—I used to have lower back pain and I rarely do now”). The book’s straightforward approach and organization make starting on a Pilates routine seem entirely feasible, and the 20-minute routines, color-coded for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students, enhance that message. “Pilates has changed people’s lives for the better,” Angell says, and self-motivating readers may find this book to be their first, best step toward that change. (June)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Physical Disobedience: An Unruly Guide to Health and Stamina for the Modern Feminist

Sara Hays Coomer. Seal, $17.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-58005-773-8

In this spirited mixture of fitness guide and self-help, personal trainer Coomer (Lightness of Body and Mind) argues that women can better fight injustice by keeping strong and fit, asserting that “taking care of our bodies is a form of political action.” Coomer shares her own experiences with body image; as a teen and college student she despised her body; her belief that at 155 pounds she was overweight resulted in an eating disorder, which involved bingeing and purging several times a day. Her struggle with body image led her to become a personal trainer, both to make peace with her own body and to help others learn that “skinny doesn’t make for happy.” Although Coomer covers a number of topics (e.g., beauty, alternative therapies, motherhood), one of her most compelling “rants” addresses the fashion industry. She encourages women to find their own style, based on clothing that makes them feel good. Likewise, food is not the enemy. Diet, she claims, should be based on healthy choices (not deprivation), and exercise on the goal of moving, enjoyment, and finding strength. Coomer ends with a useful appendix of charitable and social justice organizations, aptly capping off her unique and “unruly” manual for improving both oneself and the world. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Six Basic Cooking Techniques: Culinary Essentials for the Home Cook

Jennifer Clair. HCNY, $19.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-0-998979-20-5

Those intimidated by the prospect of entering a kitchen, let alone preparing a dish, will benefit from this simple and slim debut by Clair (Gourmet Cooking on a Budget), a former food editor at Martha Stewart Living and founder of the Home Cooking New York cooking school. In this bare-bones tutorial, she clearly and patiently guides readers through six techniques: basic knife skills, cooking meats, preparing pan sauces, blanching green vegetables, roasting vegetables, and cooking leafy greens. With that knowledge, readers can prepare and serve a number of classic mains and sides, such as pan-roasted lemon-rosemary chicken; steak with a red wine sauce; mashed potatoes and gravy; and braised collard greens with bacon and onions. A recipe for Best Vegetable Soup You’ll Ever Make calls for store-bought chicken stock rather than homemade (a simple but important skill one could master). Still, beginning cooks will appreciate Clair’s insight and recommendations on outfitting one’s kitchen with the proper tools, the art of seasoning, knife-sharpening 101, and cooking with convection ovens. The book’s simplistic design and layout feels amateurish, but those hoping to learn fundamental skills and techniques will find this to be a terrifically helpful guide. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Superiority Burger Cookbook: The Vegetarian Hamburger Is Now Delicious

Brooks Headley. Norton, $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-393-25398-6

James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Headley (Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts) turns his attention to the savory side of things in this outstanding collection of more than 90 dishes from Superiority Burger, a small vegetarian fast food restaurant he co-owns in New York City’s East Village. The veggie burger is the restaurant’s main draw (and the first recipe offered here), and while it certainly lives up to its bold title (that patty consists of quinoa, fennel seeds, chickpeas, onions, and chile powder), Headley offers dozens of other vegetarian and vegan dishes that are equally stunning. Headley includes surefire hits that will resonate with vegetarians as well as omnivores: cheesy crunchy potatoes; white sweet potato and leek soup with Italian green onion pancakes; and the Sloppy Dave, a tofu-based riff on the Sloppy Joe. Such dishes as beer batter pancakes, and fresh green peas, which are cradled in shell-shaped pasta with pesto, artfully illustrate the author’s sometimes playful approach. Headley focuses on ingredients and flavor, as evidenced by a salad that tempers the boldness of wild rice with candied hibiscus and sweet potatoes roasted with brown sugar, and stuffed green peppers that are garnished with toasted coconut. This is an outstanding cookbook—full of fun and a perfect start to summer cooking. (June)

Reviewed on 05/18/2018 | Details & Permalink

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