December books

The Arts

December 2, 2019



Notable new releases

compiled by Sally Brewster

Southern Snow: The New Guide to Winter Sports from Maryland to the Southern Appalachians, by Randy Johnson  

This guide provides everything you need to know to discover the South’s best-kept secrets of winter recreation: snow-covered mountains, remote yet accessible trails, high-quality downhill and cross-country skiing, sparkling resorts and peaceful cabins, and of course, Southern hospitality. Randy Johnson is a knowledgeable guide who shares his years of experience enjoying the winter wonders from the mountains of western Maryland down the Appalachian corridor all the way to northern Alabama. Whether you’re new to the region, a lifelong resident or just visiting for the holidays, this is the only book you need to make the most of Southern snow.

Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways to See the World, by Ian Wright

A map can convey a lot of information at a glance, something Ian Wright has been documenting on his website, brilliantmaps.com, for nearly five years using maps collected from creators all over the internet. This book is a collection of some of the most popular and commented-on maps from the website as well as some new ones, all of which have been drawn using one consistent style and, if needed, updated data. Grouped into broad categories (culture and customs, history, nature, etc.), these maps cover topics serious and less so. Wright notes in the introduction that context is always necessary to truly understand the information provided by maps. 

Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer

The pillar of American cookbooks for generations, Joy of Cooking has a new edition for the first time in over a decade, fully revised by Rombauer’s great-grandson, John Becker, and his wife, Megan Scott. This revision adds several hundred new recipes, but, more importantly, it gives its readers access to even more basic data on cooking than previous versions. New technologies like electric pressure cookers and sous-vide cooking are explained — even the effects of climate change are addressed in expanded guidelines on sustainable fish selection and cooking. Ethnic cooking has greatly expanded the inventory of recipes, including mapo tofu from Sichuan Province, sushi from Japan, curried goat from Jamaica and more to delight every cook. 

Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings,
by Joni Mitchell

A beautiful compendium of Joni Mitchell’s handwritten lyrics and drawings, originally handcrafted as a gift for a select group of friends in 1971 and now available to all for the first time. In 1971, as her album Blue topped charts around the world, Joni Mitchell crafted 100 copies of Morning Glory on the Vine as a holiday gift for her closest friends. For this stunningly beautiful book, Joni hand-wrote an exquisite selection of her own lyrics and poems and illustrated them with more than thirty original pictures. In this faithfully reproduced edition, Joni’s best-loved lyrics and poems spill across the pages in her own elegant script. All the artwork from the original book is included, along with several additional pictures that Joni drew of her friends from the same period. The refreshed volume features an original introduction written by Joni. A gorgeous present for the music lover.

1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The World As You’ve Never Seen It Before (Deluxe Edition), by Patricia Schultz

Patricia Schultz published her first 1,000 Places book in 2003; it’s now the bestselling travel book of all time with more than 3 million copies in print. This gorgeous third edition takes a much more visual approach than previous renditions and divides the world into eight regions. Photos really do take center stage. Festivals, religious sites, stately homes, transportation, national parks and other scenic natural sites — even food and drink — are featured in striking photos accompanied by a tagline, a brief overview paragraph and a few “must dos” or “must visits.” Schultz reminds readers of the unchanging spirit of her decades-long project: “The world is large, and life is short.”

South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations,
by Sean Brock

In this masterful follow-up to his James Beard Award-winning Heritage, Brock observes, “The American South has a geographical area roughly equal to that of continental Europe.” He describes the territory as a land of microregions, finding the similarities as well as the differences that exist in the foods of the Southeast. Among the more than 125 recipes, a chapter of snacks includes deviled crab from the low country, fried bologna with pickled peach mustard from Appalachia, and two versions of shrimp and grits. A grill is the preferred source of heat for many dishes, while canning mavens will appreciate a stellar chapter of preserved pantry items that includes watermelon molasses. Brock wears his Southern heart on his sleeve in this mouthwatering, virtuosic collection. A must for adventurous home cooks.

The Crayons’ Christmas, by Drew Daywalt

The holiday season is underway at Duncan’s house, and with it comes a flurry of mail — for his crayons. In envelope- and package-style pouches that occur throughout, readers will find crayoned correspondence and holiday cards, along with decorations, a foldout game and other interactive items. Peach’s parents, living the good life in Florida, send much-yearned-for clothes in paper-doll format, including a jazzy purple tux. Duncan isn’t totally neglected: Gray, who is visiting relatives in Tennessee, sends Hanukkah greetings and a punch-out dreidel. Neon Red and Esteban include a mixed-up map of their world travels. Fun for both parents and children  SP

Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com

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