Guiliano, Mireille. French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude. Grand Central. Dec. 2013. 272p. index. ISBN 9781455524112. $25. PERSONAL GROOMING
Best-selling author Guiliano (French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating with Pleasure) presents an insightful guide to the French way of aging with style, grace, and attitude. She encourages midlife women to adopt French-inspired remedies for aging woes, such as antiaging foods, regular exercise, sufficient sunlight, proper skin care, and plenty of water. The book may sound simplistic, but there’s ample information, written in an informal, conversational tone, on how to develop these healthy practices. The author provides a list of superfoods paired with easy-to-follow recipes, a straightforward skin-care routine, product recommendations, and ways to stay physically active. She also gives advice on addressing the inevitable physiological changes that occur during and after menopause. Like all works containing French beauty tips, this title stresses maintaining a positive attitude toward growing older. VERDICT What woman doesn’t want to look and feel good in her later years? Here’s a book that shows readers how to do so from a French perspective and that doesn’t romanticize the culture. A thorough, practical, and engaging beauty manual that will resonate with readers. [See Q&A with the author on p. 112.]
Pfeiffer, Jacquy & Martha Rose Shulman. The Art of French Pastry. Knopf. Dec. 2013. 432p. photos. index. ISBN 9780307959355. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780307959362. COOKING
Award-winning chef Pfeiffer (founder, French Pastry Sch., Chicago) and author Shulman (The Very Best of Recipes for Health: 250 Recipes and More from the Popular Feature on NYTimes.com) here provide a treat for those who love baking pastries—and those who love eating them. Readers can opt to learn basic French pastry techniques or attempt making a classic French pastry. Over the course of 75 recipes, the authors expertly guide both seasoned bakers and novices through seemingly complicated but accessibly written recipes for classic pastries such as the towering croquembouche and the delicate croissant. Accompanying the recipes are attractive photographs, as well as tips and asides that offer a wealth of information, such as knowing when a pastry is done, understanding why a particular ingredient is used, and learning the history behind a dish. Pfeiffer and Shulman demystify classic recipes and empower readers to tackle the art of French pastry making. VERDICT A comprehensive, essential resource for beginning and advanced bakers interested in everything related to French pastry baking.