If turkeys and gingerbread cookies have left you dizzy with spices, consider taking a break to read Sarah Lohman’s Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine.
Eight Flavors is the story of the eight ingredients that have shaped American tastes, explaining how these flavors rose to popularity and what their presence says about our culture and history. Lohman, a historic gastronomist (say that 3 times fast), has spent her career researching the American palate. Her knowledge spans centuries, social classes, and cultures. Covering standbys like black pepper and sriracha, as well as vanilla, soy sauce, garlic, curry powder, chili powder, and even MSG, her book is “richly researched, intriguing, and elegantly written,” according to Atlantic.com. Bustle.com says “Warning: This book will make you hungry.”
You can check out the New York Times’ charming account of her unusual work here, and on her blog FourPoundsFlour.com.
This week, our Michigan-based intern read Viola Shipman’s The Charm Bracelet, which is set in her own backyard. Here are her thoughts:
Idyllic beaches, evening birdcalls, eager tourists, and homemade sweets shops—all of these take their place in the soft magic that is summertime along the Great Lakes. In The Charm Bracelet, Viola Shipman has made a vivid recreation of a Michigan beach town much like my own.I live in Grand Haven, Michigan, where I purchased Viola Shipman’s The Charm Bracelet and read it, enchanted, in a single sitting. Shipman’s descriptions of life in a lakeside town are spot-on. Like Lolly, I worked in a bustling ice cream store, spending my weekends handing Blue Moon triple-scoops to children fresh off the beach. I’ve watched in awe as fog sits atop the water, and listened intently as my mother explained the legend of the Manitou Islands. In this novel, readers can lose themselves in a beach town and find themselves in the three generations of women who navigate the fictional Scoops, MI.
With her band of tender and dynamic female characters, Shipman has given us a story that asks us to hold tightly to our histories, treat our loved ones gently, challenge our accepted routines, and weather the changes life brings. You will love getting wrapped up in this sweet story, with characters, romance, and life lessons that grab the heart. Readers will find a quick and strong emotional attachment to the three generations of Lindsey women, as they each offer distinct personalities and charming qualities that stick with you long after the book is over. I cherished every last page of The Charm Bracelet—I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I pick it up for another captivating read-through.
Wendy Walker’s mesmerizing novel ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN was launched this week with an abundance of endorsements on ‘must read’ lists and rave reviews from Real Simple, EW.com, Bustle, and Redbook. People calls it ‘Twisty and Spellbinding’. And what a thrill to see Reese Witherspoon post this to her 6.5 million followers on Instagram! Have you read it? What did you think?
I‘m so proud of The Fatherless Daughter Project by Denna Babul and Karin Smithson. For the millions of fatherless daughters, or love a fatherless daughter, this book is life changing. The authors’ fierce courage and dedication is an inspiration.
“ This brilliant book provides solace and deep insight, and will give enormous comfort to any woman who has lost this important figure in her life.” – Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance and After This
“ The Fatherless Daughter Project is a soulful guide to overcoming pain and loss. This book clears the pathway for life-changing recovery and deep personal growth.” – Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times Bestselling author of Miracles Now
You’ve probably heard Rob Schmitz’s fascinating reporting from China on Marketplace. Inspired by his enormously popular series Street of Eternal Happiness, this new book is out today and getting fantastic, well-deserved praise including the New York Times Book Review. And this Q&A as well. We are so proud to be associated with this fantastic, important new book.
What’s in a name? Now we know, thanks to Wade Rouse, in this fabulous essay in PW.
We are thrilled to see our ‘west of the Mississippi’ authors Claire Bidwell Smith and Shanna Mahin (who served as a judge) at the PEN Center USA’s 25th Annual Literary Awards Festival, held at the Beverly Whilshire Hotel. What a fun night! The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Francis Ford Coppola.