S.B.'s Reviews

Before she became a mother of twins, Stefanie loved to spend her spare time cooking, gardening, crafting, and watching her beloved Giants. Now that she has no spare time, she manages to enjoy those pursuits only when she’s able to convince her girls to join her. She has been the cookbook buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz for over 20 years.

Is there a category of vegetables more diverse than greens? From bitter to sweet, cooked to raw, there are greens for every palate and, best of all, varieties that are in season throughout the year. The Book of Greens features 40 types—from arugula to watercress—and provides seriously delicious recipes (as well as prep and storage solutions) for each. I love how Louis encourages home cooks to get creative with familiar and less-familiar greens by using flavors and techniques from around the world. - S.B.

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The Book of Greens: A Cook's Compendium of 40 Varieties, from Arugula to Watercress, with More Than 175 Recipes Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781607749844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - April 11th, 2017

Revered vegetarian cookbook author Deborah Madison shares 100 of the recipes that she describes as having “settled happily into my kitchen and my life.” She reflects on the evolution of vegetarian food in the United States over the past few decades, and has pared down her recipes to the essential ingredients needed to make beautiful, flavorful food. From Egg Salad for Spring to Potato and Green Chile Stew, her recipes are seasonal, simple, and delicious.  - S.B.

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In My Kitchen: A Collection of New and Favorite Vegetarian Recipes Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780399578885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - March 28th, 2017

My favorite kind of summer read is an engrossing culinary book, and if it’s about Southern food, all the better. As director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, John T. Edge has credentials to write this “food history of the modern South,” but more than that, he is a terrific writer who cares about the ways that race has shaped what and how we eat. I am particularly interested in reading Edge’s take on how “[Southern] food and eating intertwine inextricably with politics and social history.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review.) - S.B.

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The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594206559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - May 16th, 2017

Patricia Wells’s cookbooks are always packed with outstanding recipes, and her latest is no exception. But My Master Recipes is even more: it is a primer on how to cook. Wells, who runs cooking schools in France, showcases her skills, teaching essential techniques like steaming, searing, braising, and baking. Wells is warm and personable and her recipes and instructions are so well tested that this book could almost come with a money-back guarantee that it will make you a better, more confident cook. My Master Recipes has earned starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, who calls it “a superb tutorial.” - S.B.

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My Master Recipes: 165 Recipes to Inspire Confidence in the Kitchen *With Dozens of Variations* Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780062424822
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - March 7th, 2017

To say I’m excited about this cookbook is an understatement. I am a great admirer of Elisabeth Prueitt, cofounder of San Francisco’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery and Tartine Manufactory. While Tartine’s previous books focused on baking, here Prueitt shares recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Okay, yes, desserts as well.) I love so many things about Tartine All Day: the stellar introduction (and her homage to working women), the insight into what a seasoned professional likes to cook each day, and most especially the broad range of delicious recipes with influences from around the world. I’ll be cooking from this book for years to come. - S.B.

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Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780399578823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lorena Jones Books - April 4th, 2017

Hand-carved housewares not only add function and beauty to a home; they also represent the time, skill, and dedication of the people who crafted them. If you have ever wanted to try making your own, Heirloom Wood is a terrific place to start. This beautiful guide is filled with step-by-step instructions for making simple projects like spoons, spatulas, bowls, and cutting boards from sustainable and reclaimed wood. The contemporary designs in this book don’t even require many tools, but the gorgeous wares can be used and passed down for generations to come. - S.B.

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Heirloom Wood: A Modern Guide to Carving Spoons, Bowls, Boards, and Other Homewares Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781419724763
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: ABRAMS - March 28th, 2017

If I could live any other life, I have always imagined it would be as a farmer. Letters to a Young Farmer is doing nothing to dispel that dream, but at least it allows me to live vicariously through the dozens of writers, farmers, chefs, and activists who address the highs and lows of farming life. Many favorites—among them, Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Mas Masumoto, and Barbara Kingsolver—share their tales, knowledge, and observations about food, farming, and sustainability. At a time when farmers are facing huge challenges, including climate change and big agribusiness, this book serves to advise and encourage young farmers and inspire anyone who cares about fresh, healthy, and affordable food. - S.B.

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Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781616895303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - March 7th, 2017

Within minutes of opening Succulents, I was already writing down names of plants I want to pick up for my garden. (Luckily for us, author Robin Stockwell has his own nursery in Castroville, so I know where to stock up!) Stockwell believes that “if you present succulents well, you will show off their unique beauty to the fullest,” so it’s no wonder that his book is an ideal mix of information and inspiration. The first part of Succulents is devoted to garden design, and it’s packed with plant pairings for all sizes of spaces, from large ranches to small crevices. Chapters on projects (such as tabletop displays), favorite plants, and getting started follow. If you’re not already a fan of these beautiful, easy-care plants, you will be after reading Succulents. - S.B.

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Succulents: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Growing 200 Easy Care Plants (Sunset) Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780848749477
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oxmoor House - January 31st, 2017

This beautiful book vastly expanded my repertoire of what I can do with plants from my garden. From Salt-Preserved Herbs to Calendula-Infused Essential Oil, from Lemon Bee Balm Tea to Gardener’s Salve, there are projects for mind, body, and soul. “Harvest tempts me with all the goodness that I can create from even the most common plants. The projects are fresh and unfussy [and] each is infused with love.” —Johanna Silver, Garden Editor of Sunset magazine - S.B.

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Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780399578335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - February 7th, 2017

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden is quite possibly the most beautiful book on flowers I’ve ever seen. From bulbs to branches, blooms to foliage, author Erin Benzakein (who runs a small organic family farm in Washington) shares her flower growing, harvesting, and arranging tips in page after page of gorgeous photographs. Opening this book is like falling into a pile of blossoms. Wildly inspirational. - S.B.

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Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781452145761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - March 28th, 2017

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