Xpress Reviews: Nonfiction | First Look at New Books, June 7, 2013

Week ending June 7, 2013

Culinary Institute of America. Preserving: Putting Up the Season’s Bounty. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. 192p. ISBN 9780470903735. $19.99. HOME ECON
Home canning and preserving are still a rising trend, and the Culinary Institute of America lends its expertise to bringing the garden into the home year-round. Through clear instructions on canning and chapters on pickling, drying and dehydrating, brining, curing and smoking, and freezing, this title covers almost all preserving methods. Cooks will find more than 60 recipes as diverse as these approaches, including orange marmalade, pickled green beans, beef jerky, and venison sausage. Details on food safety and storage, along with color illustrations, give readers the guidance they need to preserve a large variety of foods.
Verdict This concise reference and recipe guide from one of the premier names in cooking will only add to the appeal of preserving through the seasons.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Lib., Easthampton, MA

Finzi, Eric. The Face of Emotion: How Botox Affects Our Mood and Relationships. Palgrave Macmillan. 2013. 240p. illus. ISBN 9780230341852. $27. HEALTH
Although approaching questions of mood and emotion from the unlikely field of dermatology, Finzi makes an interesting argument for the face’s control of affect, instead of the other way around. Although it would be easy to scoff at this seemingly backward thought, Finzi points to clinical trials in the Journal of Psychiatric Research as well as his own compelling anecdotal data, both of which seem to show that our faces control (at least in part) our moods. Using Botox to reduce the contractions of the muscles between the brow (the corrugator muscles), Finzi claims that his patients are experiencing less depression and anger and more positive effects in their relationships. Drawing upon psychology, art, the observations of Charles Darwin, and his own experience in his two DC-area medical practices, Finzi has written a book that will become a great conversation starter.
Verdict A great read for armchair psychologists and those interested in unforeseen side effects of plastic surgery. This will make for an interesting read for undergraduate students in psychology, especially those interested in mood and emotion.—Rachel M. Minkin, Michigan State Univ. Libs., Lansing

Lischer, Richard. Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son. Knopf. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780307960535. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780307960542. MEMOIR
In this poignant memoir, Lischer (Duke Div. Sch.; Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery) discusses his son Adam’s death and its effect on their family. Lischer tries to make sense of his son’s cancer through conversations with God, his wife, and even with Adam. The heartbreaking story is told with honesty and warmth that comes of a father speaking of a son. The book addresses the mechanics of faith during a time of tragedy and how even those without religious beliefs make sense of why terrible things happen to good people. Lischer describes his son as a strong man who had goals to accomplish before his inevitable death, the largest being to purchase for his soon-to-be daughter 18 years of birthday gifts.
Verdict Lischer writes with honesty about religion and death. His book will be relatable for anyone who has lost a family member; an interesting read for those examining their own faith or struggling with a loss.—Meghan Dowell, New York

Livio, Mario. Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein–Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe. S. & S. 2013. 352p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781439192368. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781439192382. SCI
Astrophysicist, prolific writer, and blogger Livio (Space Telescope Science Inst.; The Golden Ratio) succeeds in his aim to demonstrate that science progresses by fits and starts, with oversights, or conceptual errors (aka blunders), as part of the process. Livio sees blunders as very dependent upon a scientist’s milieu—the theories, prejudices, and culture within which the scientist exists. He examines the world-changing key works of Charles Darwin, physicist Lord Kelvin, Linus Pauling, astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein via detailed descriptions of the contexts within which their oversights occurred. His placement of these scientists’ work within their historical context makes the technical details of their research more accessible to lay readers and is a narrative approach reminiscent of George Pendle’s Strange Angel, his study of rocketeer Jack Parsons. Livio aims to link the men’s work under the notion of environment and evolution, defined so broadly that they seem useless and unnecessary threads, the only notable shortcoming of this engaging work.
Verdict An entertaining and different take on the work of pivotal Western scientists. Recommended.—Sara R. Tompson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Lib., Pasadena, CA

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"