Science & Technology Reviews | October 1, 2013

redstar Richardson, Tim (text) & Andrew Lawson (photos). The New English Garden. Frances Lincoln. Oct. 2013. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9780711232709. $60. GARDENING

In his latest authoritative treatise, UK gardening writer Richardson (former gardens editor, Country Life; Great Gardens of America) explores current trends and developments in British landscape design through the prism of 25 different English gardens that have been designed or redesigned in the last decade. Each creation merits a concise yet engaging essay by Richardson about the philosophy and intentions of the designer(s) and how successfully they were embodied in the ensuing gardens. Lush color photographs by Lawson (The Gardener’s Book of Color) contribute to simply stunning results. The scope of gardening styles covered ranges from modern designs, such as Patrick Blanc’s Living Wall at London’s Athenaeum Hotel, to the more classic look, for example, Jinny Bloom’s Temple Guiting in Gloucestershire. ­VERDICT Richardson delivers an excellent overview of the current state of landscape design in England, making this title complementary to Ursula Buchan’s The English Garden, which has its own Lawson photographs and thematically covers the long history of public gardens in England. This book’s spot-on combination of pithy prose and drool-worthy images will make it a sure hit with landscape-design professionals and armchair gardeners alike.—John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

Fagone, Jason. Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race To Revive America. Crown. Nov. 2013. 384p. illus. ISBN 9780307591487. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307591500. TECH

In 2007, entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, through his X Foundation, offered a $10 million prize to anyone who could build a mass-producible car that could achieve 100 miles per energy equivalent of a gallon of gas. Of the 136 competitors registered for the prize, only 41 made it to the final stage and took part in the four-month- long testing at the Michigan International Speedway in 2010. Fagone (Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream) chronicles the trials of four of the teams that made it past the first cut. Would the winner be Illinois government employee Kevin Smith of Illuminati Motor Works, using his unpaid furlough days to work on his car in his barn? Or the West Philly High School Hybrid X team led by teacher Simon Hauger? Edison2, a company headed by an eccentric German real estate dealer, had four vehicles in the competition, including the Very Light Car. California-based Aptera Motors had already produced a prototype three-wheeled vehicle but was unable to fund further production. VERDICT This is a well-told tale of invention, tribulations, and, yes, ingenuity. Car and green enthusiasts alike, from high school nerds to old-time readers of Popular Mechanics, will find this a ripping good tale.—Susan Belsky, Oshkosh P.L., WI

Höllmann, Thomas O. The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine. Columbia Univ. (Arts & Traditions Of The Table: Perspectives On Culinary History). Dec. 2013. 216P. Tr. From German By Karen Margolis. ISBN 9780231161862. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780231536547. COOKING

Höllmann (Chinese studies & ethnology, Ludwig Maximilian Univ., Munich; Time and Ritual in Early China) has pulled together a study on the cultural history of China through its cooking, working from written, illustrated, and archaeological materials. Like Junru Liu’s Chinese Food, this volume focuses on China’s long history with food. Höllmann paints a picture of China that is encompassing and easily dispels Western myths about the country. Though this title isn’t a cookbook, Höllmann also includes traditional recipes that can easily be adapted for the modern cook—a pleasant surprise for readers. Tables and illustrations enhance the text. The author even examines Western influences on Chinese cooking (such as the invasion of fast food), as well as how Chinese cuisine has been adapted in Western cultures. VERDICT This engaging look at China’s culinary history will appeal to readers interested in China and those who enjoy books on cooking.—Ginny Wolter, Toledo-Lucas Cty. P.L.

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Burford, Tom. Apples of North America: 192 Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooks. Timber. 2013. 300p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781604692495. $29.95. Gardening


Kollak, Ingrid. Yoga XXL: A Journey to Health for Bigger People. Demos Medical. 2013. 264p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781936303489. pap. $21.95; ebk. ISBN 9781617051685. HEALTH

Lavalle, James B. Your Blood Never Lies: How To Read a Blood Test for a Longer, Healthier Life. Square One. 2013. 351p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780757003509. pap. $16.95. HEALTH

Sher, Geoffrey & others. In Vitro Fertilization: The A.R.T. of Making Babies. rev. ed. Skyhorse. 2013. 312p. index. ISBN 9781620876060. pap. $19.95. MED

Winter, Roberta E. Unraveling U.S. Health Care: A Personal Guide. Rowman & Littlefield. 2013. 216p. bibliog. ISBN 9781442222977. $36; ebk. ISBN 9781442222984. HEALTH


Farrell, Michael. The Sugarmaker’s Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees. Chelsea Green. Oct. 2013. 352p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781603583978. pap. $39.95. HOME ECON

Jolicoeur, Claude. The New Cider Maker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers. Chelsea Green. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781603584739. $44.95. HOME ECON

Laudan, Rachel. Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History. Univ. of California. Nov. 2013. 487p. photos. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780520266452. $39.95. COOKING


Billings, Lee. Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars. Current. Oct. 2013. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9781617230066. $27.95. SCI

Darling, David. The Rocket Man: And Other Extraordinary Characters in the History of Flight. Oneworld. Nov. 2013. 224p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781780742977. pap. $18; ebk. ISBN 9781780742984. TECH

Gee, Henry. The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution. Univ. of Chicago. Oct. 2013. 240p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780226284880. $26. SCI

McKibben, Bill. Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. Times: Holt. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780805092844. $26. SCI

McLeish, Todd. Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World. Univ. of Washington. 2013. 216p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780295992648. $29.95. NAT HIST

Mead, Corey. War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Harcourt. 2013. 208p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780544031562. $25. TECH

Prothero, Donald R. Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future. Indiana Univ. 2013. 384p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780253010292. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780253010360. SCI

Ulanski, Stan. The Billfish Story: Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea. Univ. of Georgia. Oct. 2013. 232p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780820341910. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780820346335. NAT HIST