Nonfiction, September 14, 2018 | Xpress Reviews

Readers with an interest in Churchill will appreciate; should appeal to those interested in public policy related to the alleviation of poverty; this will convince even the most landlocked chefs that they can make a good fish dish; for those who enjoy uplifting memoirs; a welcome addition to the canon of writing by female rock critics; a brief, memorable treatise on gender and sexuality

Week ending September 14, 2018

The Bread Collection: Recipes for Baking Artisan Bread at Home. 83 Pr. Sept. 2018. 200p. ed. by Brian Hart Hoffman. photos. index. ISBN 9781940772561. $26.95. COOKING
So picturesque you’ll likely try brushing breadcrumbs off its cover, this volume repackages bread recipes and photos from Bake from Scratch magazine to present clear recipes grouped into sections for quick-, yeast-, twist-, and pull-apart breads but neglects flatbreads and crispbreads found in works such as Linda Anderson’s Homemade Breads. Recipes list both U.S. standard measurements and grams yet lack highly visible, estimated total prep and bake times. Despite intriguing flavors (pickled cherries) and impressive, instructive images, this book falls short of its claim to be a “brilliant reference work” owing to insufficient indexing. For example, looking for the pineapple-flavored bun recipe in the index, one must first know to see “yeast breads,” then remember it’s titled Hawaiian Buns. Wonderful, large-print recipe titles displayed in the upper corners of the pages might have acted as a thumb guide if placed consistently throughout.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of Bake from Scratch or bread bakers who don’t require a usable index.—Bonnie Poquette, Milwaukee

Catrinescu, Ina. Burnout to Breakthrough: Motivating Employees with Leadership Tools That Work. Skyhorse. Sept. 2018. 224p. notes. ISBN 9781510738966. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781510738980. CAREERS
In this thought-provoking manifesto aimed at managers, Catrinescu (founder, SHFT Happens,; Love of Fate), an engagement and change consultant to global Fortune 500 companies, addresses employee burnout and disengagement. Having grown up in communist Moldova, she has a unique understanding of liberty and personal responsibility. She invites employees to reclaim freedom to thrive and self-actualize, challenges the assumption that overwork is a virtue, and encourages employers to question current management practices. Drawing on principles of neuroscience, business, and organizational psychology, Catrinescu proposes alternate ways for employers to partner with employees and gives examples of well-known companies that have transformed for the better. The changes suggested are profound and reflect the author’s vast experience with global political and business systems.
VERDICT Will appeal to business and management thinkers.—Jane Scott, Clark Lib., Univ. of Portland, OR

Churchill, Winston & Jennie Jerome. My Darling Winston: The Letters Between Winston Churchill and His Mother. Pegasus. Oct. 2018. 352p. ed. by David Lough. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781681778822. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681779485. HIST
More than 50 years after his death, Churchill (1874–1965) continues to fascinate. Editor Lough ( No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money) here illuminates the former British prime minister’s relationship with his mother, Jennie, in a compulsively readable collection of their lifetime of correspondence. Winston and Jennie were close, though they didn’t spend much time together. As their primary means of communication, these letters provide remarkable insight into the daily life, career planning, and personal intrigues of two strong personalities. Lough’s introduction concisely provides the context of societal norms and family situations during the years the letters were written (Churchill’s first is dated 1881 at age six, and the final, from Jerome, in 1921, shortly before the fall that hastened her death). Notes throughout explain gaps in correspondence and historical and personal events, while a helpful appendix provides background to recurring people and places.
VERDICT Readers with an interest in Churchill, as well as moviegoers whose interest was sparked by the Academy Award–winning film The Darkest Hour, will appreciate learning more about his early family life and career.—Laurie Unger Skinner, Highland Park P.L., IL

Friedman, Robert E. A Few Thousand Dollars: Sparking Prosperity for Everyone. New Pr. Oct. 2018. 224p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781620974032. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781620974049. ECON
Friedman, founder of the economic development nonprofit Prosperity Now, proposes public policy initiatives he believes will reduce and even end poverty. Rejecting the idea of a basic universal income as discussed in Annie Lowrey’s Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World , arguing it treats people as consumers rather than producers, Friedman seeks to provide the conditions that allow people to exercise their abilities. Specifically, he advocates personal savings accounts in which funds are matched by government contributions on a sliding scale. These may be used for housing, education, or starting or strengthening a business and are funded by reallocating existing tax incentives that Friedman claims are oriented to the wealthy rather than the needy, thus not increasing government subsidies. Furthermore, the assets in these holdings should not be used to reduce means-tested welfare payments to participants.
VERDICT While Friedman’s systematic, detailed plan suffers somewhat from repetitiveness and does not always escape a polemical tone, this book should appeal to those interested in public policy related to the alleviation of poverty.—Shmuel Ben-Gad, Gelman Lib., George Washington Univ., Washington, DC

Gurrera, Joe. Joe Knows Fish: Taking the Intimidation Out of Cooking Seafood. Citarella. Jun. 2018. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9780692078587. $24.99. COOKING
Gurrera, owner of Citarella fine food purveyors and New York–based fish wholesaler Lockwood & Winant, achieves this how-to cookbook’s subtitle superbly and genially. The “recipes” are more process than concoction: you could do all right with simply the best fish and finest olive oil, sea salt, and occasionally some Wondra flour. Yet Gurrera repeatedly boils it down to two important factors: freshness and timing. (And while cooking the seafood, don’t you dare pick up that smartphone to take a picture.) The chapters move through grilling to recipes for baking and roasting, sautéing, poaching, frying, and on to preparing raw fish delights such as crudo, which the author calls “Italian sashimi.” Also included are asides about his life eating, preparing, and selling fish; delicious-looking photos of the fish, both cooked and uncooked; “ask your fishmonger” suggestions along with recipes for side dishes; and a series of “Joe says” tips for buying and cooking the very best seafood. Gurrera’s love of life and fish shine through in the text and in the pictures of the author with some of his best suppliers.
VERDICT This will convince even the most landlocked chefs that they can make a good fish dish.—Liz French, Library Journal

Harrison, Scott. Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission To Bring Clean Water to the World. Currency. Oct. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781524762841. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524762858. SOC SCI
In this debut, Harrison details his journey from New York nightclub promoter to photographer for the international charity Mercy Ships to founder of charity: water, an organization dedicated to helping people access safe, clean water. Harrison grew up in a devoutly Christian household in which his mother struggled with a chronic condition that heightened her sensitivity to chemicals, an illness Harrison reflects on while working in parts of the world where people are forced to drink polluted water and have minimal access to medical care. He explains how he abandoned his religious upbringing to work in the city only to find that lifestyle unfulfilling. Seeking to make a difference, Harrison took a photography job with Mercy Ships, which provides free medical care and surgery to people in various parts of Africa. Stunned and saddened by the lack of access to clean water, he was inspired to found charity: water and has since raised money to fund water projects in 24 countries worldwide.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy uplifting memoirs will want to check out this readable book; all net proceeds from sales will go to supporting charity: water.—Jennifer Stout, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Lib., Richmond

Hopper, Jessica. Night Moves. Univ. of Texas. Sept. 2018. 184p. ISBN 9781477317884. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781477317952. MUSIC
Hopper (The Girls’ Guide to Rocking) pays homage to her beloved Chicago and her years as a DJ in this slender, electric volume. The equivalent of a cinema vérité film, with scenes slipping in and out of focus and a chronology deliberately jumbled, it explores the years 2004–09 in chapters that are essentially journal entries with droll subject headings. The result is a series of gritty, unpolished, candid vignettes that allow readers to glimpse a city experienced by a young woman who is both part of the underground music scene and an observer of it, with a wary eye and wry humor. Readers follow the process of how one becomes a writer; how the narrative voice is teased out when insights are unforced and permitted to come unbidden, like waking up after a wild night and getting everything down before the day takes the edge off the impressions.
VERDICT Perfect for readers who enjoyed Hanif Abdurraquib’s They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us and a welcome addition to the canon of writing by female rock critics, of which there is not nearly enough.—Barrie Olmstead, Lewiston P.L., ID

Shraya, Vivek. I’m Afraid of Men. Penguin Canada. Aug. 2018. 96p. ISBN 9780735235939. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780735235946. SOC SCI
In this slim volume, Shraya (even this page is white) ruminates on ways fearing men has shaped her life and her modes of engaging with femininity as an out trans woman. Tracing her childhood and the evolving journey of her own gender identity and expression, the artist offers a tender yet haunting view of male danger, misogyny, and the far-reaching violence of socialized masculinity through a mix of personal disclosure and addresses to men who changed her life for better or worse. Her accounts of the endless adjustments she undertook both to blend in with men and to protect herself from them will resonate with many, particularly when she is describing the exhaustion of a marginalized person living with constant vigilance. The text flows more like an extended essay, seamlessly weaving raw personal anecdotes with broader social theory and calls to action, smartly positing the academic and political as inextricable from the personal.
VERDICT A critical text that serves as a brief, memorable treatise on gender and sexuality and a vulnerable introspection on trauma and accountability.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal

LJ Reviews

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