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Smashing Plates: Greek Flavours Redefined by Maria Elia
The Splendid Table: In Greek cuisine, feta and honey are ‘2 simple ingredients that just give so much’
Greek cuisine has a long history- the first ever cookbook was written by Ancient Greek poet Archestratos in 320 BC - and now Maria Elia brings the traditional flavours and ingredients of Greece into the 21st century with her thoroughly modern take on classic dishes. This is not a book for traditionalists, but adventurers ready to explore exciting new flavour combinations and discover what Greek cuisine has to offer. The 120 recipes are a product of a summer spent cooking and experimenting at her father’s tavern in the Troodos mountains of Cyprus. From delicious vegetarian dishes such as Carrot Keftedes and Tomato and Runner Bean Baklava to Marinated Lamb with Feta Curd or Courgette-coated Calamari, and a tempting range of sweet dishes including Watermelon Mahalepi and Greek Yogurt and Apple Cake, Maria’s inventive recipes will open your eyes to a whole new world of Greek cooking.
The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes by Amy Thielen
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The Splendid Table: Properly cooked, eggplant is ‘as plush as a pillow, as soft as custard’
“The Midwest is rising,” writes Minnesota native Amy Thielen, host of Heartland Table on Food Network—and her engaging, keenly American debut cookbook, with 200 recipes that herald a revival in the region’s cuisine, is delicious proof.
Amy Thielen grew up in rural northern Minnesota, waiting in lines for potluck buffets amid loops of smoked sausages from her uncle’s meat market and in the company of women who could put up jelly without a recipe. She spent years cooking in some of New York City’s best restaurants, but it took moving home in 2008 for her to rediscover the wealth and diversity of the Midwestern table, and to witness its reinvention.
The New Midwestern Table reveals all that she’s come to love—and learn—about the foods of her native Midwest, through updated classic recipes and numerous encounters with spirited home cooks and some of the region’s most passionate food producers. With 150 color photographs capturing these fresh-from-the-land dishes and the striking beauty of the terrain, this cookbook will cause any home cook to fall in love with the captivating flavors of the American heartland.
Viva Tequila!: Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures by Lucinda Hutson
The Splendid Table: Straight, no chaser: Appreciating real tequila
“Tequila is my soul mate,” Lucinda Hutson exclaims. “Mexico in a bottle, its flavor is as melodic to the mouth as a mariachi tune is to the ear—bold, spicy, and full of life!” For nearly forty years, Lucinda has trekked through tequila country, distilling adventures and knowledge to present them to enthusiastic readers around the world. Her 1995 book Tequila! Cooking with the Spirit of Mexico helped usher in the boom that transformed the tequila industry. Now in ¡Viva Tequila! she returns to her lifelong passion, bringing us deeper into the traditions and vibrant present of Mexico, and creates fabulous, flavorful recipes for drinks and dishes made with Mexico’s agave spirits.
¡Viva Tequila! begins with a lively tour of the history and culture of spirits made from the miraculous maguey—pulque, mezcal, and tequila. Lucinda follows her chosen elixir from fields of blue agave, to distilleries both family-owned and internationally operated, to the bewildering array of brands now available in the market. She offers advice on how to host a tequila tasting, discover your favorites, and stock your home cantina. With imaginative garnishes and presentations, and inspiration drawn from her travels throughout Mexico, Lucinda presents recipes for dozens of drinks featuring favorite Mexican libations, while also highlighting mezcal and tequila in new and bright ways that go far beyond the ubiquitous margarita. And because no fiesta is complete without festive food, Lucinda shows you how to use agave spirits in delightful dishes that feature fresh produce, fragrant herbs, and chiles picantes, prepared with techniques from Mexico’s kitchen. For occasions ranging from lavish buffets to morning meriendas, leisurely afternoon tardeadas, last-minute happy hours, or dessert socials, you’ll find original recipes and traditional ones, some of which Lucinda has altered with contemporary touches, that are sure to please every palate.
Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate by Sister Helen Prejean
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As Heard on Public Radio:
The Two Way: Arizona Execution of Inmate Takes Nearly Two Hours
The Arizona case described in The Two Way from NPR where it took over 2 hours to execute an Arizona man may just spark another National debate about the Death Penalty.
In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier’s death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. At the same time, she came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute him—men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing.Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Confronting both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the needs of a crime-ridden society and the Christian imperative of love, Dead Man Walking is an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty, a book that is both enlightening and devastating.
Rambling Boy by Charlie Haden
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All Things Considered: Remembering Jazz Legend Charlie Haden, Who Crafted His Voice In Bass
Fresh Air: 'Live In The Present': Charlie Haden Remembered
Listeners familiar with the Charlie Haden’s celebrated career may not know of the legendary jazz bassist’s early years in country music performing with his family. Charlie Haden Family & Friends: Rambling Boy brings the artist’s personal history full circle and presents a new generation of the Haden Family - a legendary Midwest music institution in the 1930s and 1940s, now reborn in the 21st century. Rambling Boy includes songs made famous by the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, and Hank Williams alongside fabled traditional tunes and some striking original compositions. The performing cast includes Haden, his wife and co-producer Ruth Cameron, all four of his children (the triplets Petra, Rachel and Tanya Haden, their brother Josh Haden), and his son-in-law Jack Black— each of whom has his or her own career in music. In addition, Rambling Boy features guest appearances by some of the most illustrious names in contemporary Americana and popular music: Roseanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Vince Gill, Bruce Hornsby, Ricky Skaggs & the Whites, and Dan Tyminski and also includes such illustrious musicians as Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and more.
All of My Life 2-CD Set by Billy Eckstine
All Things Considered: Billy Eckstine: A Crooner Who Crossed Barriers
Billy Eckstine was one of the greatest Male pop stars to emerge from the 1940s and was a star of the concert stage, radio, television, recordings, films and night clubs. The distinguished orchestras of Nelson Riddle, Hugo Winterhalter and Pete Rugolo are featured. Plus all four selections from his Duke Ellington EP and his sessions with the great George Shearing. Many tracks are debuting on CD along with the major hits “I Apologise”, “My Foolish Heart”, “Jealousy” and “Prisoner Of Love”. What’s more, this set also comprises numerous show tunes such as “Younger Than Springtime”, “So Far” and “Gigi”.
Mecca And The Soul Brother by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
NPR’s Microphone Check: Pete Rock: ‘Real Could Be Another Word For Original’
Pete Rock loves horns the way other DJs and producers love drums. It’s this obsession with funky horn breaks that sets Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth apart from regular hip-hop bassheads. With its crucial James Brown breaks layered between trumpet and sax loops, coupled with the laid-back vocals of Smooth and Rock, Mecca and the Soul Brother—their first full-length—struts back and forth on that line between rap and soul. Rock’s production style is peerless, funky on “If It Ain’t Rough, It Ain’t Right” and sexy on “Lots of Lovin’.” Smooth’s liquid freestyle delivery (notably on “Straighten It Out” and “They Reminisce Over You”) has been echoed in other skilled MCs (see Common’s work). And with their combined skills, Mecca stands up without ever really dating itself.
Far from Finished by Bill Cosby
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KQED Forum: Bill Cosby on 50 Years of Comedy
Morning Edition: Bill Cosby - Still Himself after All These Years
Bill Cosby is Far From Finished. In his first comedy special in thirty years, he leaves the audience asking once again, “How did he get inside our house?” Whether he’s talking about friendship, first love, marriage or raising children, the result is people laughing so hard their faces hurt, their sides are splitting and they can’t breathe. This extended concert event is a must see for your whole family.
Bill Cosby Collection - Rediscover the comic genius of Bill Cosby who earned the 12th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (Garrison Keillor is another recipient) with this collection that explores childhood and much more: Why Is There Air? recorded live, It’s True, It’s True and his first release, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow. After listening, you will wonder why Bill Cosby has won only 9 Grammy Awards.
Travels With Casey by Benoit Denizet-Lewis
The Daily Circuit: Roaming and Reading: A cross-country trip with a moody labrador
A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America’s relationship with dogs.
“I don’t think my dog likes me very much,” New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his canine companion attempt to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is, in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world.
On the way, Denizet-Lewis—known for his deeply reported dispatches from far corners of American life—meets an irresistible cast of dogs and dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, search with a dedicated rescuer of stray dogs in Missouri, spend a full day at a kooky dog park in Manhattan, get pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri, and visit “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan in California. And then there are the pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two nosy women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog’s poop.
Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions—and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities—during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.
The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
NPR First Listen: Jenny Lewis, ‘The Voyager’
All Things Considered: Rainbow In The Dark: Jenny Lewis On Staring Down Sadness
Morning Edition: Jenny Lewis Stands Out with ‘Voyager’
Celebrated California singer songwriter Jenny Lewis presents The Voyager. This is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman s third solo album and first in six years, following 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat (with The Watson Twins) and 2008’s Acid Tongue.
The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal album to date, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of Rilo Kiley. The Voyager’s rootsy, golden glow comes courtesy of Lewis and the artists she chose to produce various tracks, including Ryan Adams (who, alongside Mike Viola, produced all but three of the tracks), Beck, and Lewis’ longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice. The Voyager finds the always relatable songwriter at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent experiences with honesty and incisiveness.
The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis by Arthur Allen
Fresh Air: How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A ‘Fantastic Laboratory’
Describes the true story of how the eccentric Polish scientist tasked by the Nazis to create a typhus vaccine hid the intelligentsia from the Gestapo by hiring them to work in his laboratory.
The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human by Vint Dvm Virga
Fresh Air: Cat PDA Vs. Human PDA, And Other Animal Behavior Explained
A distinguished veterinarian and animal behaviorist outlines a series of case studies with domestic and exotic animals that demonstrate how perceiving the world from the perspectives of animals can enrich human appreciation for life, improve relationships and reorder personal values.
Angels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke
All Things Considered: Book Review: ‘Angels Make Their Hope Here
Russell’s Knob is not paradise. But already in 1849 this New Jersey highlands settlement is home to a diverse population of blacks, whites, and reds who have intermarried and lived in relative harmony for generations. It is a haven for Dossie Bird, who has escaped north along the Underground Railroad and now feels the embrace of the Smoot family.
Duncan Smoot presides as accidental patriarch, protector of his enterprising sister, Hattie, and his two rambunctious nephews. As Dossie busies herself with cleaning, cooking, and tending the chickens at Duncan’s homestead, she wonders: Could this man, her rescuer—so godlike in her eyes, so much older than she—expect her to become his helpmeet?. Tentatively, Dossie begins to put down roots—until a shocking act of violence propels her away from Russell’s Knob and eventually into the mayhem of New York City’s mean streets.
With the same storytelling brio that distinguished the acclaimed novels River, Cross My Heart and Stand the Storm, Breena Clarke weaves a richly dramatic story of interracial harmony in the Civil War era—and of one woman’s triumph in the crucible of history.
Standing Tall: My Journey by Spencer West
Tell Me More: Despite Disability, One Mountain Climber Reflects On His Advantages
Spencer West is many things. Accomplished speaker. University graduate. Natural prankster. Former cheerleader. And a young man without legs—something that has never held him back. Spencer was born without the use of his legs. When he was five, doctors decided to amputate below his pelvis to better help him get around. It didn’t bother him; he was Superman and nothing would ever get in his way. Or so he thought. Navigating through life on his hands, Spencer has always lived with purpose. But he wanted more out of life than just a paycheque and material possessions. He wanted to make an impact but wasn’t always sure how. That was until he had the epiphany: He was different for a reason. Infused with humour and humility, Spencer has never lost the hope or courage he needed to tackle personal obstacles—bullying, isolation, failure, or pride. His secret? Always standing tall.
Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
NPR: Can I Get A Do-Over? Shadow Selves And Second Chances
This highly anticipated standalone graphic novel by the creator of the best-selling Scott Pilgrim series follows the experience of a young restaurant owner who is given a magical second chance to correct past mistakes.