Nonfiction: Salads, Rob Chirico, Grants, Mary Guinan, Currier & Ives, Tennessee Williams | Xpress Reviews

Week ending June 10, 2016

Baxter, Jane & John Vincent. Leon Happy Salads. Conran Octopus. Aug. 2016. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9781840917185. $19.99. COOKING
This new cookbook from Leon, a UK restaurant chain with 30-plus locations, contains more than 100 salad recipes for lunches, suppers, dinner parties, and other occasions. Similar to Mindy Fox’s Salads: Beyond the Bowl, the book covers a wide range of flavors, textures, temperatures, and styles. Recipes such as tabbouleh, chicken and rice noodle salad, pastrami saladwich, and harissa prawns with bulgur are easy to prepare, though American readers may need a moment to think through metric measurements and potentially unfamiliar ingredients (e.g., rose harissa, rapeseed oil). Clear labels denote wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
Verdict A great value for salad lovers.—Lisa Campbell, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Chirico, Rob. Not My Mother’s Kitchen: Rediscovering Italian-American Cooking Through Stories and Recipes. Imagine! Charlesbridge. Sept. 2016. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9781623545017. $24.95. COOKING
notmymothers061016Award-winning chef Chirico’s (Field Guide to Cocktails) humorous culinary memoir recounts his love of Italian food that developed as a reprisal against his mother’s dreadful cooking. Growing up in an affectionate Italian family, Chirico’s home life was filled with laughter and music, but his dinners often consisted of canned and frozen foods and perhaps some cold cuts from the local deli. His grandmother, however, was an accomplished cook, and as the author accompanied her to their local markets, he developed both an admiration for good cooking as well as the ability to discern the excellent vs. average characteristics of ingredients. Chirico shares more than 70 recipes, including soups, salads, pastas, meat dishes, and pizza. Each recipe is prefaced with an introduction that includes a family anecdote or compelling facts about a particular item. Most of the recipes are uncomplicated and include easy-to-find ingredients (for the occasional rare product, a mail-order source list is included). Appendixes feature the author’s favorite kitchen utensils as well as cookbooks he deems influential.
Verdict Filled with nostalgic stories, delicious recipes, and a wealth of facts and tidbits about Italian food, this will appeal to readers who enjoy chef biographies.—Phillip Oliver, Vancouver Community Lib., WA

de Farber, Bess G. Collaborative Grant-Seeking: A Practical Guide for Librarians. Rowman & Littlefield. May 2016. 164p. illus. index. ISBN 9781442263260. $99; pap. ISBN 9781442263277. $65; ebk. ISBN 9781442263284. PRO MEDIA
Grant collaboration has an exponential benefit to partnering libraries and organizations that extends far beyond the dollars received. Collaborating on a grant project enables libraries to establish lasting relationships in addition to implementing new grant-funded services. De Farber (grants manager, Univ. of Florida Libs.) contends that grant writing is an overlooked activity and that librarians are naturally inclined to be successful grantees. The author walks readers through the process, beginning with identifying funding opportunities and forming alliances. The guide provides specific suggestions for establishing communication and work flows between partnering institutions. Assistance is also provided for all common components of a grant application, from selecting a title to preparing the appendixes. To provide inspiration, several examples of successful applications and projects are shared, while checklists and samples demystify the practice. What makes this an excellent complement to other grant guides (Herbert B. Landau’s Winning Library Grants: A Game Plan and Pamela H. MacKellar and Stephanie K. Gerding’s Winning Library Grants) is that the focus is not on winning but instead on building the team.
Verdict A solid guide for novice to expert grant seekers tired of going it alone.—Jennifer Clifton, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis

Guinan, Mary with Anne D. Mather. Adventures of a Female Medical Detective: In Pursuit of Smallpox and AIDS. Johns Hopkins. May 2016. 144p. photos. index. ISBN 9781421419992. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421420004. MED
Guinan, former chief scientific adviser to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has assembled a fascinating collection of her experiences. The only female internal medicine physician in her graduating class from Johns Hopkins, the author was also the only woman member of CDC’s elite Epidemiology Intelligence Service, a two-year intensive program designed to train physicians to identify patterns and respond to major public health crises. In the early 1970s, she joined the World Health Organization’s Operation Smallpox Zero eradication program in India and soon after the nation was smallpox-free. Guinan also details her research of the herpes virus, which led to her eventual treatment of some of the first AIDS patients in the early 1980s. Overcoming physical barriers across border nations, stigmas against STDs, and her own battles with those in the medical field, the author proves herself a pioneer of public health investigation and specialization of infectious disease as a whole.
Verdict Recommended to those with an interest in medicine, specifically women looking to focus on public health.—Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Lib., Macon, GA

Rawls, Walton. Currier & Ives’ America: From a Young Nation to a Great Power. Abbeville. Apr. 2016. 488p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780789212580. $45; ebk. ISBN 9780789260246. FINE ARTS
Harvard University–trained historian and independent editor Rawls updates his 1979 classic in this new edition, presenting a history of America as viewed through the lithographs of American printmaking firm Currier & Ives, which was active from 1852 to 1880. Organized broadly by topic, each chapter demonstrates how the prints captured the mood and events of America during that period and reflected standards of the day. This book includes many reproductions of the works in beautiful full color. While Rawls chronicles America through Currier & Ives, this title functions more as an art book than a history text, owing to its reproductions of prints and presentation of the past. The bibliography consists of only nine titles, none of which have been revised since the volume’s first edition. Although the chapters encompass wide-reaching themes, the writing jumps from era to era and creates difficulties in following a historical context, occasionally using awkward language and phrases.
Verdict This current volume will be relevant for academic and public libraries looking to enhance their art collections.—Andy Shuping, White River Junction, VT

Williams, Tennessee. Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws & Other One-Act Plays. New Directions. Jul. 2016. 184p. ed. by Thomas Keith. ISBN 9780811225564. pap. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9780811225571. THEATER
Someone, somewhere, had this (or something like it) to say about Beethoven: “The Fifth Symphony was the work of a genius. ‘Wellington’s Victory’ was the work of a man who had to pay the rent.” A similar feeling will result from reading through this volume of what’s described on the back cover as “fantastic, lesser-known one-acts,” as well as “most potent, witty and wild late plays.” Well, no. The ten plays included here, dating from the last decade of his life, do nothing to increase the illumination that is the bright, shining light of Tennessee Williams (1911–83). They read like cheap Edward Albee or Samuel Beckett, or worse. The short pieces might do as student acting exercises (the longest of them would take under 20 minutes to perform; the casts allow for much doubling) or serve as additional texts in graduate-level American lit courses.
Verdict Only for completists; not an essential purchase.—Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Moorhead