Xpress Reviews: Nonfiction | First Look at New Books, June 28, 2013

Week ending June 28, 2013

DeMichael, Tom. James Bond FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About Everyone’s Favorite Superspy. Applause: Hal Leonard. 2013. 400p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781557838568. pap. $22.99. FILM
Here DeMichael (Armchair Reader: The Amazing Book of History) chronicles every incarnation of Bond, every villain, every girl, every gun, car, and gadget. If it’s been in a Bond movie, you’ll find it in this book! More encyclopedia than FAQ, this title is a compilation of all things Bond from Dr. No to Skyfall. Honoring the 50th anniversary of “everyone’s favorite superspy,” DeMichael assesses characters, actor portrayals, plots, music, and gizmos. Essential for the enthusiast, this title offers detailed information on all the Bond films. And while DeMichael does discuss Ian Fleming’s character development of Bond in a few short pages, it is truly the film franchise that fuels this text. Additional information on Bond spoofs and rumored projects from 1954 to the present are included.
Verdict A complete and appealing volume of information. Bond aficionados, movie buffs, and trivia junkies will enjoy this title and refer to it often. Recommended for enthusiasts.—Rochelle LeMaster, Medina Cty. Dist. Lib., OH

Ginell, Cary. Walk Tall: The Music & Life of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Hal Leonard. (Jazz Biographies). 2013. 192p. discog. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781458419798. pap. $18.99. MUSIC
Music historian and discographer Ginell (Hot Jazz for Sale: Hollywood’s Jazz Man Record Shop) has written the first full-length biography of jazz great Cannonball Adderley (1928–75). Starting with the saxophonist’s education and high school teaching career in Florida, he chronicles Adderley’s discovery at the Café Bohemia in New York in 1955 and his time in the legendary Miles Davis band in which he contributed to the classic Kind of Blue. The author continues with Cannonball’s rise to fame on Riverside Records, his subsequent success with the burgeoning genre of soul jazz (the album The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco became a best seller), and Adderley’s civil rights activism before his untimely death at 46.
Verdict Though seldom probing into Adderley’s motivations in his music and personal life and interviewing only a few of Cannonball’s family and musical associates, Ginell here provides a valuable if sketchy outline of Adderley’s life. This book will appeal primarily to jazz fans.—David P. Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

Neibaur, James L. & Terri Niemi. Buster Keaton’s Silent Shorts: 1920–1923. Scarecrow. 2013. 253p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810887404. $60; ebk. ISBN 9780810887411. FILM
Early film icon Buster Keaton, with masterpieces such as Sherlock, Jr. and The General, ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd in the pantheon of silent film comic geniuses. It is these feature-length films that get most of the attention from film scholars and film students alike, while his short films—in which he learned and honed his craft—tend to be largely overlooked. In their film-by-film assessment of Keaton’s short films between the years 1920 and 1923, authors Neibaur (The Silent Films of Harry Langdon: 1923–1928) and Niemi (Neibaur’s researcher on previous books) take readers through Keaton’s burgeoning film career with a delightful mix of insight, history, criticism, and a witty writing style.
Verdict This isn’t the average scholarly exploration on a very narrow topic that few will be interested in; instead, it peels back the decades and brings a fresh perspective to the often underexplored films of one of cinema’s great masters. This book will find readers across academia and the general public, which is an accomplishment indeed.—Teri Shiel, Univ. of Connecticut Health Ctr. Lib., Farmington

Osborne, Lawrence. The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker’s Journey. Crown. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780770436889. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780770436896. BEVERAGES
Perceptions and realities of alcohol consumption vary across Islamic nations and differ from Western views. In some locales, even inquiring about alcohol may invite hostility, while in others, such as in Egypt, where beer arguably originated, there are greater degrees of tolerance. Osborne takes a different approach from other authors tracing the popular culture aspects of food or drink who visit a country and meet a few local characters, distilling their brief experiences into a representation of the whole. Instead, he settles into a place, drinking heavily wherever he can and seeking out the underbelly. Interspersed chapters that flash back to the alcoholism in his family and to his younger days as an impoverished barfly in the United States provide contrast. With a seductive leer to the writing, this book will have readers reflecting on drinking culturally and personally.
Verdict The narrow focus of this gritty reflection on alcohol means that it may not fit comfortably with either memoirs or with more general works on beverages. Still, recommended for public libraries.—Peter Hepburn, Coll. of the Canyons Lib., Santa Clarita, CA

Ryan, Jim. The Rodeo and Hollywood: Rodeo Cowboys on Screen and Western Actors in the Arena. McFarland. 2013. 408p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780786475230. pap. $25. FILM
Lifelong Western film and rodeo fan Ryan has done his homework for this Texas-sized reference book that profiles rodeo stars who went Hollywood and actors who rodeoed. The first section, “Rodeo Personalities with a Hollywood Connection,” features 144 biographical entries of both male and female rodeo performers and stars who successfully segued into film and television. In the following “Individual Movie and Television Actors Performing at Rodeos” section, 69 actors are listed whose work in Western-based TV shows or films led to rodeo appearances. The third section notes ensemble TV show casts performing at rodeos and includes entries on popular and expected casts of shows such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and The Lone Ranger, as well as less obvious programs such as Sky King and F-Troop. The final section lists 75 rodeo-related films and is followed by appendixes for Golden Age rodeo personalities, assorted rodeos and the Western stars they featured, and a list of special rodeos. Entries for all sections vary in length from extended pages on stars like Rex Allen and Gene Autry to several-sentence-long citations for lesser-known performers. Beautiful black-and-white publicity stills embellish the text throughout.
Verdict Yee-haw! All libraries with Western interests should cowboy-up with this title.—Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX

Simmons, Marie. Taste of Honey: The Definitive Guide to Tasting and Cooking with 40 Varietals. Andrews McMeel. 2013. 192p. photogs. ISBN 9781449427542. pap. $19.99. COOKING
Just as with coffee and chocolate, honey has a multitude of varieties far beyond what is packaged in the plastic squeezable bear. Veteran food writer Simmons (Fig Heaven; Things Cooks Love) here brings 40 different types of honey to the forefront for cooks, discussing topics that range from the creation of honey (bees and their habitat influences) to a wide array of sweet and savory recipes. Over 60 recipes highlight delicious ways to incorporate this sweet treat, including feta cheese and honey omelets, sweet and sour meatballs, and ginger honey walnut loaf. Simmons includes suggestions for which varietal of honey is best for each recipe and nuggets of knowledge about the use of bees and honey throughout history. A list of “Quick Hits” in each chapter offers simple, fast ways to use honey.
Verdict Beautiful photography and accessible tips enhance these delicious recipes. This colorful and engaging cookbook will foster appreciation for both this condiment and the bees that produce it.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Lib., Easthampton, MA

Thibeault, Bridget. Cupcake Decorating Lab: 52 Techniques, Recipes, and Inspiring Designs for Your Favorite Sweet Treats! Quarry: Quayside. 2013. 144p. illus. ISBN 9781592538317. pap. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781610587679. COOKING
Thibeault is no stranger to baking. Starting her own custom cake and dessert business in 2006 before opening Luna Café (www.lunacafe.com) in 2011 in her hometown, Cleveland, she has icing in her blood. Thibeault’s latest foray into the industry is a new cookbook featuring 52 “mini-lessons” on designing beautiful cupcakes. Bakers will find inspiration and success here, whether by using basic equipment found in most kitchens or by purchasing more advanced tools at baking supply stores or websites (a resource list is appended). Some of the author’s favorite recipes are included.
Verdict The beautiful graphics and the current popularity of cupcakes make this work a solid choice for public library collections. Even casual browsers will pick up useful tips for improving their baking.—Jane Hebert, Glenside P.L. Dist., Glendale Heights, IL

Warner, Simon. Text and Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture. Bloomsbury. 2013. 544p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780826416643. $34.95; ebk. ISBN 9781441171122. MUSIC
Journalist Warner (popular music studies, Univ. of Leeds; Howl for Now) has written a detailed and erudite survey of the influence of the Beats, exemplified by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs, on rock musicians such as the Beatles and Bob Dylan. With an introduction that serves as a compressed cultural and social history of the post–World War II artistic landscape, Warner posits that ideas of nonconformity, the lure of the road, the desire for mental and sexual stimulation, and—most important—the sense of individual freedom were the key characteristics of Beat literature that inspired burgeoning musicians. The book includes chapters on the influence of Howl in the 1950s, Dylan and Ginsberg, the Beatles and the summer of love, the UK counterculture, and Patti Smith’s place in the post-Beat world; it intersperses smaller essays and transcripts. Warner’s interviews with journalists, musicians, and writers such as Michael McClure, David Amram, and Steven Taylor provide personal recollections and insights.
Verdict Warner’s academic and exhaustive examination provides a fascinating analysis on the pivotal confluence of two artistic movements. This book will prove valuable to students and to those deeply interested in music, literature, and Anglo-American cultural history of the mid- to late 20th century.—James Collins, Morristown–Morris Twp. P.L., NJ

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"