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Cooking Best-Sellers, May 2021 | The Most In-Demand in Libraries & Bookstores

PREMIUM

Tragedy Plus Time: National Trauma and Television Comedy

A must for media and communication studies departments, this work will also appeal to many comedy fans, traumatologists, and the generally curious.

Everybody: A Book about Freedom

There are moments in this book that may feel too theoretical; yet, when Laing explores and expresses the ways in which our bodies are full of power, she offers a form of support we could all use more of as we navigate our own bodies and relearn what it means to value them. This is worthwhile, reflective reading.
PREMIUM

In My Own Time: An Autobiography

Burton’s autobiography is as rich and dense as his prolific career. Those with a serious interest in classical music will be delighted.
PREMIUM

What Fresh Hell Is This? Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You

This newest work by Corinna is an excellent option for readers experiencing menopause or living alongside someone who is. While it is not as scientifically rigorous as The Menopause Manifesto by Jen Gunter, this book still offers a helpful overview, with up-to-date research and friendly advice on accepting one’s new body.
PREMIUM

Notes on Grief

A worthwhile mediation on coming to terms with grief. Especially as we continue to reckon with loss, this reflective account will be valuable to the many people unexpectedly grieving from afar.
PREMIUM

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power

Page has written a comprehensive biography of Pelosi that follows her entire career in politics and describes how early family experiences influenced her policies and political leadership style.
PREMIUM

Mentoring Each Other: Teachers Listening, Learning, and Sharing To Create More Successful Classrooms

This well-researched book provides an excellent guide to the literature on this topic.
PREMIUM

Tables & Spreads: A Go-To Guide for Beautiful Snacks, Intimate Gatherings, and Inviting Feasts

Ideal for party planners, this cookbook offers a score of ideas. A useful addition for libraries looking for more books on entertaining.
PREMIUM

The Mysteries of Cinema: Movies and Imagination

Academic libraries that wish to expand their film criticism section might consider this work, but general collections should avoid it.
PREMIUM

The Optimist: A Case for the Fly Fishing Life

A lovely, ruminative book about a venerable sport; it bears comparison to Adrian Smith’s Monsters of Rivers and Rock. Coggins’s enthusiasm for fly fishing is so infectious that the book will readily hook non-fishers as well.
PREMIUM

War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion

A thorough overview of an often-overlooked period in history that helps put present-day U.S.–Mexico relations into context.

Why We Love The Matrix

A geeky celebratory short read that is sure to be a collectible volume for serious followers of The Matrix for years to come.
PREMIUM

Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes

News buffs will love the behind-the-scenes stories, and journalism students will find advice direct from legendary reporters.
PREMIUM

Beginner’s Mind

Anyone who has been influenced by a beloved teacher will savor this work; educators will especially appreciate it.

The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves

Expertly showing the complex relationship between consumer culture and nature, this insightful account offers a starting point for change (and optimism), and is highly recommended for all libraries.
PREMIUM

Hard To Break: Why Our Brains Make Habits Stick

Readers looking for easy advice on habit change can turn to plenty of other options in the popular psychology genre. Those who are deeply interested in the brain and neuroscience research should enjoy this stimulating work.

Clear, Hold, and Destroy: Pacification in Phú Yên and the American War in Vietnam

This academic yet highly readable study will appeal to readers interested in the Vietnam War and its failures and lessons.
PREMIUM

Drawing Is for Everyone: Simple Lessons To Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit; Explore Infinite Creative Possibilities in Graphite, Colored Pencil, and Ink

Ewing delivers a solid introduction to drawing that will capture the interest of hesitant beginners, as well as more experienced artists looking for new and different projects.

African Europeans: An Untold History

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this is an essential work of historical scholarship that is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.
PREMIUM

Alice Neel: People Come First

Shedding new light and fresh perspectives on Neel’s work, this catalogue brings renewed relevance to the artist’s oeuvre and will be appreciated by scholars and general readers alike.
PREMIUM

How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting—From Tots to Teens

Moyer shows readers how to grow alongside their child and effect positive change. However, the book would benefit from a greater variety of perspectives.
PREMIUM

The Psychology of Parenting Teenagers: Thriving Throughout Their Teenage Years

Not every case study or suggestion will work for every child’s situation, which this book acknowledges. Cullen’s self-reflective guide will nevertheless aid parents in multiple ways.
PREMIUM

The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live

An intriguing analysis of a stereotyped field that will find a welcome place among collections specializing in feminism and women’s studies.

The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture

A funny, accessible analysis of pop culture that will benefit nonfiction collections; it informs about gay history and grounds its importance in real experience. And for many gay readers, even if the cultural touchstones aren’t their own, Perry’s anecdotes will still be relatable and uplifting.
PREMIUM

Archives 101

This excellent and practical primer is a solid choice for staff of local collections, and educators and students of archiving. It dovetails well with the third edition of Gregory S. Hunter’s Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives: A How-To-Do-It Manual.
PREMIUM

Parenting for Social Justice: Tips, Tools, and Inspiration for Conversations and Action with Kids

A must-have in the field of anti-bias education. This work gives ideas for having conversations with young people about social justice and putting knowledge into action.
PREMIUM

Daily Life of Women in Postwar America

Readable, reliable, and wide-ranging, this volume will appeal to those with a general interest in U.S. cultural history.

The Words That Made Us

Although sometimes dense in detail, Amar’s original work offers general readers an accessible and often entertaining narrative and lessons to glean from the founding document of the United States. The wide range of material covered in the book will give scholars plenty of interpretations to engage with.
PREMIUM

Fashion Criticism: An Anthology

Reprints of lesser-known essays (Campbell’s “What Happened to the Afro?”), plus essays that use a variety of approaches, from glamorous description (Long’s “Feminine Fashions”), to social theory (Sontag’s “Looking with Avedon”), make this a solid primer on cultural criticism and fashion journalism.
PREMIUM

License To Parent: How My Career as a Spy Helped Me Raise Resourceful, Self-Sufficient Kids

With tips for staying safe online, living by one’s principles, and finding a healthy balance with risk, this is a fascinating and useful take on parenting.

Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours

Sentilles writes candidly and humanely about her experience of building a family beyond immediate kin and discovering the depths of love and protection. Essential reading for those hoping to be foster parents.
PREMIUM

Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art

Whether or not readers believe in the supernatural, they’ll be impressed by the erudition of these texts and the wide range of beautifully presented artworks.
PREMIUM

The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion

These essays are raw, informative, and often entertaining; fans of essayists like Roxane Gay will devour this book quickly and be left wanting more of Forna’s stories.

On the Job: An Encyclopedia of Unique Occupations Around the World

With engrossing subject matter, excellent writing, and thorough, up-to-date research, this reference work will enrapture high school students, undergraduates, and curious browsers.
PREMIUM

Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder

This thought-provoking book adds to conversations about the role of psychiatric institutions and how society can offer solutions.

Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization

An illuminating yet conversational study that takes an anthropological approach to a widespread and often puzzling human behavior.
PREMIUM

The Sandbox Revolution: Raising Kids for a Just World

The range of narrators is representative and inclusive; their perspectives and expertise add value to this work, which is sure to be of ongoing interest.
PREMIUM

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays

Readers looking for a new literary pal who’s classy enough to wear pearls at the poker table, and brave enough to visit a crowded water park post-menopause, need look no further. Recommend to fans of Nora Ephron and Annabelle Gurwitch.
PREMIUM

Dream State: California in the Movies

A thoroughly entertaining and perceptive conversation with someone who truly loves the movies and California.

Breaking It Down: Audition Techniques for Actors of the Global Majority

Everyone involved in the performing arts, from professors to casting directors to actors to students, especially those just starting out, should read this eye-opening work.
PREMIUM

The Windsor Diaries: My Childhood with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret

An insider account that is essential for followers of the royal family.

The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice

A thoughtful exploration of the importance of collective memory. It is particularly poignant as 2021 marks the centennial of the massacre. A must-read for all who are interested in how history continues to impact the present.

Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Making of a Modern Astronaut

Schmidle, whose father was a marine fighter pilot and instructor, applies his personal interest in aerospace subjects to this book’s extensive research and in-depth interviews. For fans of The Right Stuff or Top Gun.
PREMIUM

Let’s Talk about Hard Things

Besides listeners of her podcast, this will appeal to any adult struggling to broach these topics.
PREMIUM

A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays

Readers interested in the death penalty and injustice in the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as those who enjoyed Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, will appreciate this title.

On Juneteenth

This beautifully written memoir makes the case that the history of Black Texas is central to the history of the United States. Gordon-Reed’s writing will move all readers of U.S. history.

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

Simard’s science fascinates, and so too does her life. This is an engaging memoir of scientific discovery.

Anime Clubs for Public Libraries: A Practical Guide for Librarians

Pard has created an indispensable guide for all anime clubs. Her clear descriptions and encouraging tone will reassure readers that they need not be anime fans themselves to run a successful club. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Why Peacocks? An Unlikely Search for Meaning in the World’s Most Magnificent Bird

Blending memoir and natural history, this candid journey into the world of an unusual bird will spark the interest of fans of popular science.

Languages of Truth: Essays 2003–2020

Highly recommended for Rushdie fans, as well as readers interested in art, literature, or creative writing.

National Audubon Society Trees of North America

A must-have reference book for plant enthusiasts and anyone who has ever asked, “What kind of tree is that?”
PREMIUM

Republic of Detours: How the New Deal Paid Broke Writers To Rediscover America

This fascinating and enjoyable volume is recommended for all readers interested in American literary history.
PREMIUM

America’s National Anthem: “The Star-Spangled Banner” in U.S. History, Culture, and Law

Intended for readers interested in American history and culture, this insightful, well-researched work offers a nuanced and balanced look at one of the United States’ core historical markers.
PREMIUM

Raised in the Kitchen: Making Memories from Scratch One Recipe at a Time

Filled with fun family recipes and ideas for even the pickiest of eaters, this book is sure to be a hit with both parents and children.
PREMIUM

My Name Is Selma: The Remarkable Memoir of a Jewish Resistance Fighter and Ravensbrück Survivor

There are many extraordinary books written by survivors of the Holocaust, and this numbers among them. The author’s voice, strength, and pain are palpable throughout; everyone can benefit from reading her story.

Conscious Crafts: Pottery: 20 Mindful Makes To Reconnect Head, Heart & Hands

Though the title is misleading (pottery usually refers to pieces made from earthenware or stoneware clay, that have been glazed and fired to vitrification for functional use), it contains fun decorative projects for both adults and children.
PREMIUM

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

An excellent travelogue and introduction to slavery’s impact on both the United States and its people. It will hold the interest of readers who are only starting to grapple with the topic.
PREMIUM

it was never going to be okay

An emotionally wrenching and linguistically mature work that will be particularly inviting for poetry novices, but which also suffers from structural imbalances that diminish some of its power.
PREMIUM

Cack-Handed

A tremendously funny and touching memoir that readers will want to finish in one sitting, whether they’re fans of Yashere or newcomers to her work.
PREMIUM

Booth Girls: Pregnancy, Adoption, and the Secrets We Kept

With its vivid historical detail, and careful examination of the emotional lives of parents on either side of the adoption process, this book is recommended for parents of adopted children, and for readers of memoir.
PREMIUM

Mental Floss: The Curious Reader; A Literary Miscellany of Novels & Novelists

Good for curious readers, whether they want to delve into authors and books they love, feel competent faking knowledge about books everyone else seems to have read, or just dip into and out of literary worlds.

National Audubon Society Birds of North America

This guide is a must-have for birders and nature lovers.

We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom

Readers seeking a high-level analysis of political discourse will most appreciate Malik’s work, and it would make an excellent addition to college syllabi and library shelves.
PREMIUM

Punks in Peoria: Making a Scene in the American Heartland

This title will interest punk devotees, or readers interested in the intersection of music and sociology in America from rock and roll’s emergence to the present.

Swimming to Freedom: My Escape from China and the Cultural Revolution

A touching and fascinating memoir that is essential for anyone interested in life during the Cultural Revolution or the experiences of the freedom swimmers. For a political assessment of the Cultural Revolution, readers should consider The World Turned Upside Down, by Yang Jisheng.
PREMIUM

The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years

This quick read can help parents form a decision making framework. Some of the book’s topics (camp, cell phones, etc.) don’t adequately address an economically diverse readership, limiting the audience for this book.
PREMIUM

New Religions: Emerging Faiths and Religious Cultures in the Modern World

An excellent starting point for those who wish to explore new religions further. Recommended for anyone interested in emerging religions, and an essential resource for academic and religious libraries.
PREMIUM

Inside Comedy: The Soul, Wit, and Bite of Comedy and Comedians of the Last Five Decades

Steinberg hits the history harder than the comedy and presents himself as a pivotal figure. Comedy fans who remember his onscreen work will likely agree with his self-assessment and enjoy his book.

Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern

This exploration of the lengths to which humankind has gone to represent the world with fidelity, and the many scientific advances that this quest has generated, will fascinate artists, scientists, and historians alike.

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

An important but too-compact analysis that might leave readers wishing for more. Like Anderson’s previous works, this is essential for everyone interested in U.S. history.

All the Colors Came Out: A Father, a Daughter, and a Lifetime of Lessons

With strong appeal for book clubs, this heartbreaking, yet strongly inspirational memoir is very highly recommended for all public library collections, and deserving of a wide readership.
PREMIUM

My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption

Manuel provides a firsthand account of the U.S. prison system’s inhumanity for minors, and he writes a compelling call for change. A raw look at the intersection of the U.S. legal system, racism, and trauma.
PREMIUM

Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer–Diet Connection

An illuminating account that makes Warburg (the man and the scientist) accessible to general readers.
PREMIUM

A Guide to Writing College Admissions Essays: Practical Advice for Students and Parents

A concise primer on concise writing. Will appeal to college applicants and some parents.
PREMIUM

The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia

Pender’s expansive reporting on Sondheim’s productions, cohorts, and collaborators goes beyond biography to give readers a wider historical view of American musical theater. The book is ostensibly a reference work aimed at enthusiasts (of which Sondheim has many), but casual theater and performing arts fans will find much to appreciate as well.
PREMIUM

The Hummingbirds’ Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wings

Montgomery has written another engaging work of popular science, similar to her previous books. This latest volume will draw in readers who are new to birding, as well as experienced birders looking to supplement their knowledge.
PREMIUM

The Word Gobblers: A Handbook for Parents Working with Children Struggling To Read

A helpful volume for parents, caregivers, and teachers of children who struggle with reading.
PREMIUM

The Double Life of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941–1966

Dylan remains an enigmatic figure. Heylin’s book will be appreciated by devoted fans and is another valuable addition to a puzzle that might never be completed.
PREMIUM

The Appalachian Trail: A Biography

For readers interested in the outdoors. The complicated and colorful people who brought the AT to life deliver a distinctive view of its creation.

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience

Within these pages, Black readers in general, and Black women in particular, will find at least one essay they can relate to, or that offers validation for their lived experience. An essential read.

Cracking Up: Black Feminist Comedy in the Twentieth & Twenty-First Century United States

Wood expertly examines Black feminist comics who blend humor with resistance and rebellion in this important work. It deserves a place in all performing arts and women’s history sections.

Americanaland: Where Country & Western Met Rock ’n’ Roll

It would have been impossible for Milward to pack any more information into this well-researched, comprehensive book. Recommended to anyone and everyone interested in the history of American music.

PREMIUM

Listen To This If You Love Great Music: A Critical Curation of 100 Essential Albums

A well informed but overly narrow work that sometimes falls prey to an overblown rock-journalistic writing style. Murray has written a provocative, fascinating, highly personal compendium of the top 100 albums, which will most appeal to fans of alternative, electronic, or pop music.

PREMIUM

Moonlighting: An Oral History

Moonlighting was never syndicated, the DVDs are out of print, and tricky music rights have kept the show off streaming services. Ryan’s work is truly a labor of love, and fans will appreciate his effort, but readers unfamiliar with the series can skip this.

PREMIUM

The Zen Mama Guide to Finding Your Rhythm in Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond

An attractive volume with beautiful photos and easy-to-implement ideas; it’s sure to be a hit. However, its perspective is often limited; it discusses adoption, financial precarity, and being uninsured, but there is little to address specific challenges faced by families of color or queer families.

PREMIUM

Look at This If You Love Great Art: 100 Essential Artworks That Really Matter

An excellent selection for readers who want an easy entry to art appreciation. It’s perfect for readers who wonder why an artwork is significant or why an artist would choose a particular subject. This book is compelling, yet simple enough that it would be appropriate for a general library collection.

PREMIUM

Refugee High: Coming of Age in America

Educators and general readers alike will find this vividly intimate work insightful.

PREMIUM

Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise

Behind the scenes it wasn’t always fun, fun, fun, but fans of late ’50s and ’60s pop will feel like they’ve caught the perfect wave.

PREMIUM

Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth

A Gold Star family’s faltering path towards normalcy in the wake of loss is documented alongside a failed military operation. Though the book loses a little momentum towards the end, Black’s recollections on grief are especially poignant.

Punch Me Up to the Gods

Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool,” Punch Me Up to the Gods is an exquisite and important memoir that will sit proudly among the likes of Kiese Laymon’s Heavy and Darnell L. Moore’s No Ashes in the Fire.

PREMIUM

The Burning Blue: The Untold Story of Christa McAuliffe and NASA’s Challenger Disaster

A quick biographical account, placing the space shuttle in historical context, that will have YA crossover appeal. Readers will find something new even if they are familiar with the Challenger disaster.

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

A book reminiscent of William H. McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples, Ferguson’s new title is a much-needed book on an important and pressing subject. Ferguson provides ample support for his arguments, uses an interdisciplinary approach, and offers new insights and revelations. An exemplary and thought-provoking work from a renowned author that will not disappoint.

Gossip Men: J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn, and the Politics of Insinuation

This finely crafted book, based on meticulous use of archival records, satisfies on many levels and sheds light on often overlooked history.

The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the ‘Wind Blown,’ Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind

Fairbanks deftly handles the story, with an eye for detail and page-turning prose. An evocative, well-researched, and compelling account, this highly recommended book will stay with readers past the last page.

Hungry Hearts

This is a powerful volume that will be in demand, whether for specific contributors or the inspiration provided by the essays.

Nine Days: The Race To Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election

Strongly recommended for all public libraries.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019

Essential for library collections.

Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence

An accessible account that is highly recommended for those who want a historical perspective on current issues and those interested in the nation’s founding.

My Remarkable Journey

Readers will enjoy Johnson’s personal accounts of the space race and the roles of Black women in STEM. This wonderful, insightful memoir is the perfect companion piece to Margot Lee Shetterly’s best-selling Hidden Figures, which recounted the lives of Johnson and her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.
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