LJ Best Books 2016

A jury of our peers discussed, debated, disagreed, and finally declared LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles. VISIT THE WEBSITE

Cooking Reviews | March 15, 2013

Eggs and vegetables feature prominently this month, and I can think of no better time to celebrate them. These ingredients are simply and elaborately prepared in titles like Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy and Kathy Casey’s D’Lish Deviled Eggs, and they shine in fabulous recipes like Oven-Roasted Roots Frittata from River Cottage Veg, and Almond Bizcocho with Caramel Oranges from José Pizarro’s Spanish Flavors.

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewFearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh (text) & Simon Wheeler (photogs.). River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown Pub. Group. May 2013. c.416p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781607744726. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781607744733. COOKING

With his seventh cookbook, Fearnley-Whittingstall (The River Cottage Meat Book) wants to prove that vegetables alone can make a satisfying meal. Assuming vegetarians and vegans will “know what to do” with this cookbook, he appeals to carnivores and omnivores, imploring them to eat more vegetables for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. Fittingly, he begins his collection with substantial comfort foods like Chiles Stuffed with Beans and Spinach, Squash, and Fennel Lasagne. Later chapters include hearty salads, lunch bag–friendly dips, snacks, and sandwiches, quick “Pantry Suppers,” and a few eclectic desserts. ­VERDICT Let these easy, reliable recipes, which emphasize interesting preparations and contrasting flavors and textures, renew your interest in vegetables.

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMadison, Deborah. Vegetable Literacy: Exploring the Affinities and History of the Vegetable Families, with 300 Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2013. c. 416p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781607741916. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781607741923. COOKING

Leading vegetarian cooking authority Madison’s ( Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ) latest cookbook combines the poetic gardening savvy of Nigel Slater’s Tender and Ripe with the history and botany of James Peterson’s Vegetables, Revised. To illustrate the similarities between edible plants, with the intent of teaching readers to become more intuitive cooks, Madison groups her recipes into 12 vegetable families subdivided by species (for instance, “The Sunflower Family” includes artichokes, cardoons, endives, tarragon, and more). For each plant, Madison includes a detailed description, selected varieties, storage and prep advice, and suggested flavor pairings. VERDICT This ambitious reference, beautifully photographed by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirscheimer of Canal House, can help readers deepen their vegetable knowledge.

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewShannon, Dan & Annie Shannon. Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family. Grand Central. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9781455509331. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781455517206. COOKING

Animal rights activists and foodies Annie and Dan Shannon started a blog to prove that any recipe could be made deliciously vegan, using the 2010 Betty Crocker Cookbook as their muse. The ensuing cookbook has a fun retro vibe that unapologetically revels in the quality of today’s mock meats and vegan cheeses, and celebrates fake butter with whoopee pies, cupcakes, and doughnuts. The Shannons manage to maintain the wide recipe variety and general accessibility of the original Betty, even though “veganizing” recipes involves more than just using vegan ingredients instead of their animal-based counterparts. VERDICT Folks looking for “healthy” vegan fare may be turned off by the frequent use of processed foods. The book’s many fans will range from anyone mystified by seitan and Tofurky to vegans nostalgic for favorite meat-based dishes. This book offers a little something for everyone and is a unique complement to popular vegan cookbooks such as Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin’s “Skinny Bitch” series, and titles by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. —Jude Baldwin, Shasta Coll. Lib., Redding, CA

The following titles are reviewed in the March 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Bacher, Miche (text) & Miana Jun (photogs.). Cooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers. Quirk. Apr. 2013. 160p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781594746253. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781594746673. COOKING

Carrarini, Rose. How To Boil an Egg. Phaidon. 2013. 136p. illus. index. ISBN 9780714862415. $35. COOKING

Casey, Kathy. D’Lish Deviled Eggs: A Collection of Recipes from Creative to Classic. Andrews McMeel. 2013. 160p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781449427504. $14.99. COOKING

Dooley, Beth. Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook. Univ. of Minnesota. May 2013. c.280p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780816673155. pap. $29.95. COOKING

Hair, Jaden. Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites: 100 Recipes That Are Fast, Fresh, and Simple Enough for Tonight’s Supper. Ten Speed: Crown. 2013. 240p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781607742708. pap. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781607742715. COOKING

Howell, Makini. Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. Sasquatch. Apr. 2013. c.160p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781570617911. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781570618376. COOKING

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMadison, Deborah. Vegetable Literacy: Exploring the Affinities and History of the Vegetable Families, with 300 Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2013. c. 416p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781607741916. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781607741923. COOKING

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPizarro, José. Spanish Flavors: Stunning Dishes Inspired by the Regional Ingredients of Spain. Kyle: Kyle Cathie, dist. by National Bk. Network. Apr. 2013. 204p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781906868895. $29.95. COOKING