Science & Technology Reviews | February 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Crawford, Martin. How To Grow Perennial Vegetables: Low-Maintenance, Low-Impact Vegetable Gardening.Green Bks. 2012. 224p. illus. ISBN 9781900322843. $26.95. GARDENING

Gardeners looking to expand their edible plantings beyond the usual tomatoes and peppers will find a bounty of possibilities in these pages. Crawford’s (dir., Agroforestry Research Trust; Creating a Forest Garden) first two chapters introduce the types of perennial vegetables (trees, shrubs, tubers, etc.) and provide general information on why and how to grow them. The remainder of the book is an alphabetical list, by common name (and cross referenced), of more than 100 plants, ranging from familiar favorites to many that will be new to even the most adventurous gardeners and eaters. Each plant profile includes botanical and common names, a brief description of the plant, its hardiness zones, cultivation instructions, and culinary uses. A list of seed and plant suppliers in Europe, Canada, and the United States is also included. Throughout, Crawford emphasizes sustainable, organic gardening practices, and he includes many plants that can be grown in the shade. Culinary and cultivation information is useful but brief, assuming basic horticultural and cooking knowledge. With an index by botanical name. VERDICT This inspiring book is highly recommended for experienced gardeners who wish to broaden their horticultural and culinary horizons.—Janet Crum, City of Hope Lib., Duarte, CA

Albala, Ken & Rosanna Nafziger Henderson. The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home: The Happy Luddite’s Guide to Domestic Self-Sufficiency. Perigee. 2012. 288p. illus. index. ISBN 9780399537776. $23. HOME ECON

Albala (history, Univ. of the Pacific) and Henderson (coauthor with Albala, The Lost Art of Real Cooking) here tackle household projects both comestible (brewing, preserving) and not (rug braiding, hammering silver quarters into wedding rings, making one’s own broom). Despite the depth and breadth of topics covered here, the book is not for homesteaders or those heading for a life off the grid. The intended audience is city dwellers or suburbanites whose time is limited but who want to regain a measure of self-sufficiency over their domestic lives by making some of the objects they use and foods they consume and who want to have fun doing so. Recipes are written in an informal, narrative format, rather thanproviding the standard list of ingredients followed by directions. The projects range from familiar items like sourdough bread and liverwurst to more unusual ones like Acorn Crepes, Jasper of Milk, and something known, mysteriously, as Pig Jam. The authors also explore ingredients and animal parts used infrequently in American kitchens, such as gingko nuts and chicken feet. VERDICT The project instructions are clear and easy to follow and there’s quite a lot of humor in the text. Recommended for anyone interested in learning new domestic skills.—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

Roberts, Siobhan. Wind Wizard: Alan G. Davenport and the Art of Wind Engineering. Princeton Univ. 2012. 288p. bibliog. illus. index. ISBN 9780691151533. $29.95. ENGINEERING

For centuries, engineers were basically concerned only with static forces in the design of buildings, considering issues such as weight distibution and which materials could handle the stresses of the structure. As buildings started getting taller, it became apparent that the effects of wind also needed to be considered, but no one really understood how to analyze those forces. Along came Alan Davenport, who established a new field of study and became known as the father of wind engineering. Here, journalist Roberts (King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, the Man Who Saved Geometry) details Davenport’s career and how he revolutionized skyscraper design by using wind tunnels. His studies provided valuable input on such famous structures as the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower, and the John Hancock Tower. VERDICT Roberts presents an engrossing history of the early stages of wind engineering. Many images enhance the story, allowing readers to see the architectural features being discussed.—­William Baer, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta

The following titles are reviewed in the February 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Parashos, Sotirios & others. Navigating Life with Parkinson Disease. Oxford Univ. (Neurology Now). 2012. 320p. illus. ISBN 9780199897780. $19.95. MED


Baxter, John. The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France. Perennial. Feb. 2013. 400p. illus. index. pap. ISBN 9780062088062. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062088079. cookery


Challenger, Melanie. On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature. Counterpoint. 2012. 352p. illus. ISBN 9781619020184. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781619021440. NAT HIST

Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library. Sterling Signature. 2012. 163p. illus. ed. by Tom Baione. ISBN 9781402791499. $50. NAT HIST

Parish, Jolyon C. The Dodo and the Solitaire: A Natural History. Indiana Univ. (Life of the Past). 2012. 432p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780253000996. $75; ebk. ISBN 9780253001030. NAT HIST

This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works. Harper Perennial. 2013. 432p. ed. by John Brockman. index. ISBN 9780062230171. $15.99. SCI

Thorington, Richard W., Jr. & others. Squirrels of the World. Johns Hopkins. 2012. 472p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781421404691. $75. NAT HIST