Murdoch, Lydia. Daily Life of Victorian Women. Greenwood. (Daily Life Through History). 2013. 284p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780313384981. $58; ebk. ISBN 9780313384998. REF
Murdoch (history, Vassar Coll.; Imagined Orphans: Poor Families, Child Welfare, and Contested Citizenship in London) offers a new perspective on the lives of Victorian women. The book uses a combination of primary and secondary sources to provide readers with an overview of the routines of work and leisure for women at all levels of society, dispelling the stereotype of Victorian women as solely stay-at-home wives and mothers. Readers will find here portrayals of figures who were politically and socially active, participating in the abolitionist movement, publishing political essays, petitioning parliament, and often working in other ways outside the home. In some instances, they also played prominent roles in religious movements. Throughout, there are numerous illustrations, as well as excerpts from books, government reports, magazines, diaries, and newspapers commenting on everything from women’s rights under the law to women and the British Empire. Endnotes and a list of further readings by chapter close the book. VERDICT A worthwhile addition to public and academic libraries.
Beck, Stan & Jack Wilkinson. College Sports Traditions: Picking Up Butch, Silent Night, and Hundreds of Others. Scarecrow. 2013. 436p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810891203. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780810891210. REF
As defined by Beck, an expert on college sports customs, and writer Wilkinson (100 Things Braves Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die), a tradition is an action with a start and a finish that continues over a period of years. Approximately 1,200 such practices covering almost every college sport and including well-known conventions at major universities and obscure ones at smaller schools are depicted in rousing fashion by the authors, both longtime sports fans and journalists. Traditions before, during, and after games, as well some involving nicknames, mascots, and music, capture the excitement, originality, and pageantry of intercollegiate athletics. The authors begin each of the 11 chapters with a short exposé of a practice that is representative of that chapter’s theme and continue with shorter descriptions of traditions at other colleges. The chapter on yells, cheers, and chants, which concludes the title, is one of the most interesting. Photographs, tables, and a detailed index complement the text. Covering subjects that range from the eccentric and outlandish to the touching and meaningful, the book captures the spirit and importance of college sport rituals and campus culture. VERDICT A work that is entertaining, fresh, and fun to browse. Not only sports fans but also anyone who enjoys tidbits about college life will find it hard to put down.
Street Food Around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. 2013. 504p. ed. by Bruce Kraig & Colleen Taylor. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598849547. $100; ebk. ISBN 9781598849554. REF
Quick and easy, street food has rolled into the spotlight of popular culture and the media. While there are numerous recipe books, television shows, and works on specific topics, this volume is the first to provide a broad view of street food worldwide. It begins with a brief introduction to the fare that includes the World Health Organization’s five keys to safer food and regulations. The heart of the work is its more than 70 country and region entries. Organized alphabetically, the entries, at minimum, include a brief synopsis of street food in the region. Of particular note is the inclusion of places that are less well known for such food, such as Suriname. The title discusses how, as part of the Caribbean Basin, Suriname has a fascinating history demonstrated through the variety of cultures that influenced the area’s street cuisine. For instance, Indian workers brought roti (a kind of bread) to the country in the 1800s, and it is still one of the country’s most popular street foods. And who could have guessed that the hot dog was the most popular street comestible in Iceland? Also included is a section of recipes, a short selected bibliography (each entry has further readings), and a thorough index. Aiding in navigation is a list of entries, a list of recipes, and another list of recipes by country. VERDICT A solid overview of street food worldwide for travelers and researchers.
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Girardi, Robert I. The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals—in Their Own Words. Zenith. 2013. 304p. photos. maps. index. ISBN 9780760345160. $28. REF
1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think. Atria. 2013. 960p. ed. by Robert Arp. photos. index. ISBN 9781476705729. $37; ebk. ISBN 9781476705736. REF
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The Statesman’s Yearbook 2014: The Politics, Cultures, and Economies of the World. Palgrave Macmillan. 2013. 1604p. ed. by Barry Turner. maps. ISBN 9780230377691. $325. REF
Best’s Library Center. A.M. Best.
Hite, Richard. Sustainable Genealogy: Separating Fact from Fiction in Family Legends. Genealogical. 2013. 110p. illus. ISBN 9780806319827. pap. $18.95. REF
Morris, Monique W. Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century. New Pr. Jan. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9781595589194. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781595589262. REF