Xpress Reviews: Nonfiction | First Look at New Books, March 28, 2014

Week ending March 28, 2014

starred review starBoone, Lauri. Superfoods for Life: Chia. Fair Winds. 2014. 192p. photos. index. ISBN 9781592335725. pap. $18.99; ebk. ISBN 9781610589246. HEALTH
superfoodschia032814Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico and dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. “Chia” means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, protein, and calcium. Today chia is a popular addition to the wide variety of health foods available to adventurous eaters. Boone, a registered dietitian, speaker, and writer (Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods), has compiled a handbook of chia information that will be useful to readers ready to explore using the seed in their cooking. The book focuses on integrating chia seeds into common recipes: granola, smoothies, soups, main courses, and desserts. A thorough index gives access to the information in the book, and bright color photos help to inspire the cook. Particularly useful is a list of FAQs that will answer most questions that a newcomer to chia will have. The science on the benefits of chia use is controversial; readers will have to choose for themselves.
Verdict A popular addition to general food collections. Chia is trendy these days, and there will be a demand for the information in this book.—Olga Wise, formerly with Compaq Computers Inc. Lib., Austin, TX

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Prints and Objects. Overlook. 2013. 256p. ed. by Jörg Schellmann & Matthias Koddenberg. illus. ISBN 9781468307481. $65. FINE ARTS
Christo (b. 1935) is in the final years of a long and prolific career as an artist who has radically altered the practice of art. Sadly, his collaborator and wife, Jeanne-Claude, passed away in 2009. Together, they carried to fruition many multiyear projects, including the beautiful “Running Fence” across the seaside of northern California, the “Wrapped Coast” of Australia, the pink “Surrounded Islands” in Biscayne Bay, FL, the “Wrapped Reichstag” in Berlin, and a host of other smaller artwork installations dealing with the theme of intervening in the built or natural landscape. To raise money for their projects and to support themselves, the couple made numerous small sculptural and two-dimensional collectible works. This beautifully illustrated catalogue raisonné is a guide to the large- and small-scale works in chronological order. A very short introductory essay in German and English discusses how the artists produced and funded their art projects, but the real value of the book is the many photos of the finished projects, the unrealized efforts, and the small discrete artworks. This is an excellent starting point for researching specific projects, most of which have books devoted to them.
Verdict Anyone interested in the art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries will find this a valuable visual overview of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work without the distraction of extensive text.—David McClelland, Andover, NY