Since September 11, America has been staying home more "cocooning," as trend expert Faith Popcorn calls it. That involves more cooking, and cooking involves more cookbooks. That's why "A New Way to Cook" (Artisan) by two-time James Beard Award winner Sally Schneider is such a welcome addition to the home library. Publishers Weekly said of the hefty (739-pps) tome in a starred review: "Every era must have its cookbook, and the cookbook for the early 21st century has arrived."
The book is the product of ten years of research in her home kitchen. Schneider says that when she was a young chef, cooking and eating in America, France and Italy, "I adored all the rich, sumptuous food but realized I had to face the realities of weight gain, food allergies, and fluctuating blood sugar. As I grew older I became progressively more concerned about the long-term effects of a rich diet on my health and wellbeing. The core of Schneider's philosophy is moderation: no food is out of bounds, but go easy. Says Schneider, "I eat moderately day to day, and periodically I eat with abandon." The result is a realistic but delicious way of eating. Get ready for Eternal Lemon Curd Tart and Black Olive and Herb Foccaccia. Bon Appetit!
THE MEANING OF LIFE:
"One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001" (Little, Brown), edited by TIME senior editor Bob Sullivan, soars to No. 4 on the 12/9 NYT nonfiction bestseller list. "One Nation" is the sixth LIFE book to be published this year. The WSJ is impressed, calling the book "tasteful and touching...a thorough telling."
Kirkus and PW are overwhelmed by "At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America" by Philip Dray (Random House; January 22), both giving the book a starred review. Says Kirkus: "The ghastly story of lynching, by the coauthor of 'We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, Chaney and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi'...This is history most fundamental, the kind that forces us to ponder the very nature of humanity." PW agrees: "Prodigiously researched, tightly written and compelling history of the lynching of African-Americans...Dray balances moral indignation with a sound understanding of history and politics. The result is vital, hard-hitting cultural history."
On March 5, Doubleday will publish "The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton" by Joe Klein, author of "Primary Colors." Says Klein's publisher, "This is not just another Clinton book. In fact, it is the only book to read if you want to understand exactly what happened to the military, to the economy, to the American people and to the country during Bill Clinton's presidency." Klein, who has followed Clinton since the latter was the governor of Arkansas, was granted three exclusive interviews with Bubba.
UNREPENTANT AT ANY SPEED:
On January 17, Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's will publish "Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run For President" by unsuccessful presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
Marriage is a raw deal for women, says Susan Maushart, the author of "Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women" (Bloomsbury; March). According to Maushart, whether wives are employed or not, they still perform an astounding share of the physical, emotional, and organizational labor in marriage everything from housework to "sex work." It's not an accident, she says, that women initiate three-quarters of all divorces. If family life is worth saving, she says, the job description for wives will have to be rewritten. Says blurber Pepper Schwartz, author and Ph.D., "Wifework is a welcome corrective to the saccharine over-sentimentalization that seems to be sweeping the United States right now...Her well-written and well-documented book shows how much work being a wife really is and how much inequity is still accepted in modern marriage."
Next week, MTV Books/Pocket will publish "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman," a mass market paperback original by TIME senior writer Chris Farley, who interviewed hip-hop soul artist Aaliyah not long before her death. According to his publisher, "Farley has talked to dozens of Aaliyah's friends, family members and acquaintances, from the singer's mother to her high school vocal coach to the director of her forthcoming film "The Queen of the Damned," which was completed after her death. Farley also interviewed Aaliyah's celebrity pals and admirers, including her producers Missy Elliot and Timbaland, vocalist Beyonce Knowles and singer-songwriter Alicia Keyes. In addition, 'Aaliyah' features new information about the airplane disaster that claimed Aaliyah's life, including interviews with the only known witness to the crash and official investigators."
RADIO FREE IRAQ:
Will Iraq soon be center stage? Better check out "The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein" by Sandra Mackey (Norton; May). The book is an account of the forces that produced Saddam's dictatorship. According to her publisher, "This book sounds an urgent note of caution: a future Iraq without Hussein could be even more unstable and more problematical to the security of the United States."
PW reports that anticipation is building for "The Lord of the Rings," which opens on December 19 in 10,000 theaters internationally. The mass-market paperback edition of "The Fellowship of the Ring" (Ballantine; paperback) is already No. 1 on PW's mass-market list. "The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide" (Houghton Mifflin paperback) is No. 11 on the 12/9 NYT paperback nonfiction list.
ON A BUFFALO WING AND A PRAYER:
Heaven can weight, reports PW. A number of religious imprints are publishing diet books, such as "3D: Diet, Discipline and Discipleship" (Paraclete; January), "Thin Within" (W Publishing Group; January), "The Prayer Diet" (Kensington/Citadel; September), "Living the Good Life" (Baker/Revell; September), "Loving Your Body" (Tyndale; April), and "God Knows You'd Like a New Body" (Sorin; July). And of course, "What Would Jesus Eat?: The Ultimate Program for Eating Well, Feeling Great, and Living Longer" (Nelson; March).
A LITTLE BIT NUTTY, AND A LITTLE BIT SLUTTY:
In March, Scribner will publish "Fast Girls: Teenage Tribes and the Myth of Promiscuity" by Emily White. Says her publisher, "With a feminist voice as bold as Susan Faludi's or Naomi Wolf's, White explores the timeless phenomenon of the archetypal high school slut and the culture that creates it."
PROFILES IN DISCOURAGEMENT:
PW lauds "Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work" by David Harris, professor at the University of Toledo College of Law (New Press; February). "This thoughtful and scrupulous analysis of racial profiling's history, uses and ultimate failure as a measure for crime prevention takes on even deeper meaning following September 11...FORECAST: The focus of profiling debates has shifted from blacks and Hispanics to Arab and American Muslims. This book lays some of the groundwork for post-September 11 books on profiling that are sure to come, and is rock solid on specifics that remain disturbing; expect strong sales."
In February, Simon & Schuster will publish "Get Out: Rants and Raves" by radio personality Don Imus. His publisher describes it as "barbs and trenchant observations on modern life."