Category Archives: Books

The meat to Jamie Oliver’s success? Great food, great fun, great new book, “Ultimate Veg”

The meat of Jamie Oliver’s success? He’s friendly, fastidious and one helluva nice guy.

And a hot damn! chef.

Oliver—one of the bestselling cookbook authors of all time—is back with his first-ever all vegetable, plant-powered cookbook. With inspiration from all over the world, Ultimate Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone (Flatiron Books, $35) shows how easy and delicious it is to add more vegetables into your cooking whether
you’re looking to embrace a meat-free day or two each week or live a vegetarian lifestyle. From simple suppers to dinner-party worthy stunners, Oliver packs the book with flavor combinations that will inspire everyone to get cooking.

From chapters from One-Pan Wonders, Traybakes and Curries & Stews to Pasta, Salads, Burgers & Fritters and everything in between, Jamie includes recipes that everyone will want to cook and eat, plus tips for easy weeknight meals.

Our Top Three faves:

♥ GREENS MAC ‘N’ CHEESE with leek, broccoli & spinach and a toasted almond topping
VEGGIE PAD THAI, crispy fried eggs, special tamarind & tofu sauce and peanut sprinkle
♥ SUPER SPINACH PANCAKES with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese

As Oliver says: “It’s all about celebrating really good, tasty food that just happens to be meat-free.”

Find Oliver recipes and videos on jamieoliver.com

Suzanne Somers offers “A New Way to Age”

We have always loved Suzanne Somers.

Every time we chat with her, she has something profound to say.
Witness: “Gay men love me. And why not?  I get what that experience is. I think children of alcoholics are wounded birds, and I think the gay experience is very wounding. I have always had great relationships with my gay friends, and I think that’s because we’re simpatico. We get one another. I know the wounding; I know how to find my way through. So do they. I don’t know what it is, but lesbians don’t make passes at me. Maybe I’m too femme?”

With her new book, A New Way to Age: The Most Cutting-Edge Advances in Antiaging (Gallery Books, $28), Somers cuts right to the heart of how most of us are far too comfortable with the present paradigm of aging, which normalizes pills, nursing homes and “the big three”: heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

But you don’t have to accept this.

She presents a “new” way to grow older—with vibrancy, freedom, confidence and a rockin’ libido.  The book is a health bible that explains how to stop aging like your parents and embrace cutting edge techniques such as:
♥ Balancing nutritional and mineral deficiencies
♥ Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
♥ Detoxifying your gut for weight loss
♥ Pain management with non-THC CBD instead of harmful opioids
♥ Cell rejuvenation with senolytics and NAD supplementation
♥ Natural, nondrug intimacy enhancers
♥ Stem cell treatments for healing and revitalizing more body parts

In A New Way to Age, Somers interviews some of the foremost doctors in the field of antiaging medicine. Reading these interviews makes you feel like you are in the office of a top doctor. Suzanne
asks the questions you may be afraid to ask or not have the opportunity to. They discuss topics including stress, hormone enhancement, yoga, statins, toxins and the gut, EECP treatment, the heart and how to keep it from breaking, stem cell treatment, natural pain treatment, energy medicine and the healing power of touch.

As Suzanne writes, “The information throughout this book is meant
to be provocative in order to stimulate interest in the newest possibilities. These amazing professionals gave me their best so I could pass it along to you.”

At the end of the book, Suzanne includes appendices which include a comprehensive list of tests you may want to do and how to obtain them; doctor contact information for all the doctors interviewed or
referenced in the book; and information about supplements and supplementation.

With this nook, the 73-year-old takes things a step further to present a revolutionary philosophy for a longer and better-quality
life—in the form of easy-to-understand lessons and doctor interviews that will make you feel like you’ve
just had the best checkup of your life.

“Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote” is the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy.

A new year that will bring change. We will kick out the scumbag misleading the country.

And we  will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

Leading the parade is Ellen Carol DuBois’s Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote (Simon & Schuster, $28), a wonderful book that explores the full scope of the dramatic and inspiring suffrage movement—which brought half of the American population into the voting body, gave them fundamental political rights, and recognized their existence as individuals beyond the scope of family roles.

book coverRenowned historian  DuBois, a distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCLA, takes us through the very heart of American history with vivid portraits of the suffrage movement’s bold leaders and devoted activists. Profiled in the book are well-known foremothers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, as well as lesser known figures like Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul.

Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote is sure to become the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy.

Joshua Hammer hatches a brilliant new book chronicling a globe-trotting smuggler

On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.

So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey.book cover

From the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird (Simon & Schuster, $26), tails a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own.

It’s a story that’s part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure—and wholly unputdownable until the very last page. Another great book  that’s been hatched by Joshua Hammer, the best-selling author of The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. 

Master storyteller Jerry Mitchell’s new book reopens the unsolved murder cases of the Civil Rights era

The book is so important that John Grisham states: “For almost two decades, investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement. This book is his amazing story. Thanks to him, and to courageous prosecutors, witnesses, and FBI agents, justice finally prevailed.”

Indeed.

Jerry Mitchell has been called “a loose cannon,” “a pain in the ass” and a “white traitor.” He’s also one of the most decorated investigative journalists in the nation, having won more than 30 national awards—including a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” Columbia’s John Chancellor Award, the Sidney Hillman Prize and the George Polk Award as well as a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Whatever he’s been called, he has never given up in his quest to bring unpunished killers to justice.

book cover

Since 1989, the investigative journalist for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, has unearthed documents, cajoled suspects and witnesses, and quietly pursued evidence in some of the nation’s most notorious killings. Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era (Simon & Schuster, $28) documents the work that led to the re-openings and re-prosecutions of some of the nation’s most notorious murders, including the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers; the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist church in Birmingham that killed four girls; the 1966 firebombing of Vernon Dahmer; and the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers (commonly known as the “Mississippi Burning” case). These four cases were landmarks in the civil rights movement, and since then, we’ve seen an all-time high of hate crimes in America. As Mitchell writes: “We must remember, to point our compass toward justice. We must remember, and then act.”

With Race Against Time, readers get an unputdownable suspense story about a chapter in American history. It’s unbelievable that killers had been walking around in broad daylight, their crimes unpunished. Like reading a nonfiction version of a John Grisham novel, the book is filled with courtroom twists and heart-pounding one-on-one confrontations with killers. Mitchell’s investigations of unpunished killings by the KKK have hardly been popular. Some readers of his stories complained bitterly in letters to the editor. Others cancelled their subscriptions. Klansmen have repeatedly threatened him. In addition to his reporting on these cases, he has exposed injustices, incompetence and corruption, helping lead to investigations, exonerations, firings and reforms of state agencies. The book also reveals the courage of those involved in the civil rights movement.  And this book shows the power of the press in a nation that desperately needs accountability

Hoarding old Martha Stewart mags? The domestic doyenne proves decluttering is possible in “Martha Stewart’s Organizing” 

Some consider her a madcap maven who seems to have a perfect life: She knows how to braise a pork loin, prune her bush, befriend  animals and Snoop Dogg, give up real fur, trade stocks, even once going to jail for five months at a jail whose grounds were almost as lavish as Cantitoe Corners, one of her multi-million dollar estates. This home sits on 153 acres of prime real estate in Bedford, New York; the insignia of the home, er mansion, is that of a sycamore tree.
The prolific (and very very very very very rich) 78-yearold is also an author, and we must admit her really like her latest: Martha Stewart’s OrganizingThe Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30).

The tome is just the thing for people who are cluttered and, frankly, overwhelmed by junk they refuse to toss.
Yes, we know even a cursory glance at amazon proves that there are many “how to” guides on the topic of organizing, but Martha knows the subject of bringing order to one’s life is so much more than simply discarding what doesn’t please you.
“I’m a big proponent of keeping a calendar and populating it with every task, appointment and event, big and small–down to staking the peonies, grooming my dogs, sharpening my kitchen knives, setting up my grandchildren’s sailing lessons and ordering the Thanksgiving turkey,” she coos.
The book is crammed with her own monthly calendars as templates. The calendars are easy to personalize, so anyone can achieve Martha’s level of organizational success. Through big picture advice and smaller step-by-step projects–a culmination of decades of research gathered for Martha Stewart Living, her TV shows and online videos–she helps readers craft (and stick to) a deliberate approach to organizing with clear rules, pre-set schedules and to-do lists informed by their unique lifestyles.
The manual is split into three sections (Organize Your Year, Organize Your Home, Organize Your Routine) and topics include:

  • Room-by-room strategies to make spaces more hardworking and rewarding (i.e. how to sort office paperwork, when to purge the garage or attic, and ways to store perishables in the fridge or freezer for maximum shelf life.)
  • Seasonal advice like when to swap out bedding and clothing and how to put away holiday decorations. For example, in January, Stewart sets days to establish healthy habits, review your financial plan for the year, clean your pantry, and make and freeze soups to get you through the cold winter months.
  • Day-by-day or week-by-week plans for projects such as de-cluttering, house cleaning, creating a filing system and overhauling the closet.And for this, we thank Martha as we butterfly some shrimp.

JJ Smith’s book offers miracles and marvels of apple cider vinegar

Heard about the miracles and marvels that apple cider vinegar delivers? JJ Smith, certified weight loss expert, nutritionist and author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, has. And he provides an all-new and accessible cleanse to help readers lose weight and jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.
The 7-Day Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse (Simon & Schuster, $16.99) is a revolutionary detox system that taps into the time-tested benefits of apple cider vinegar to support the body’s natural detoxification process, promote fat loss, improve digestion and overall gut health and gain renewed energy and mental focus.
Included in this book are 25 specific recipes for long-term weight loss, step-by-step instructions for completing the seven day cleanse, and a catalog of all the benefits of apple cider vinegar—from acne reduction to sunburn and sore throat relief.

Fred Kaplan unwinds the secret (and scary) history of nuclear war in “The Bomb”

Nuclear war is scary stuff.
And The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War (Simon & Schuster, $30) is even scarier. And we mean that only in the most enlightening way.
From Fred Kaplan, author of the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist, comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war—and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises—from Truman to Trump.  Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as “a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter,” takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today.book cover

Kaplan’s historical research and deep reporting will stand as the permanent record of politics, and Kirkus Reviews agrees, calling The Bomb a “detailed, incisive picture of how U.S. presidents have thought about their most troubling responsibility: pushing ‘the button’ that could end civilization . . . a well-written, exhaustively researched history of American leaders’ efforts to manage their nuclear arsenal. . .  a comprehensive review of American nuclear policy from the Truman administration to the present.”
Discussing theories that have dominated nightmare scenarios from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kaplan presents the unthinkable in terms of mass destruction and demonstrates how the nuclear war reality will not go away, regardless of the dire consequences.
Be afraid.

“Bubble in the Sun” takes a riveting look into the ’20s boom in Florida, and How It Brought on the Great Depression”

Florida was once much more than Goofy and the goofy scumbag who likes to pull women’s pussies.
In Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression (Simon & Schuster, $30), Christopher Knowlton takes an in-depth look at the spectacular Florida land boom of the ’20s and shows how it led directly to the Great Depression.
That decade was a time of incredible excess, immense wealth and precipitous collapse. The decade there produced the largest human migration in American history, far exceeding the settlement of the West, as millions flocked to the grand hotels and the new cities that rose rapidly from the teeming wetlands. The boom spawned a new subdivision civilization—and the most egregious large-scale assault on the environment in the name of “progress.”
book coverNowhere was the glitz and froth of the Roaring Twenties more excessive than in Florida. Here was Vegas before there was a Vegas: gambling was condoned and so was drinking, since prohibition was not enforced. Tycoons, crooks, and celebrities arrived en masse to promote or exploit this new and dazzling American frontier in the sunshine. Yet, the import and deep impact of these historical events have never been explored thoroughly.
Until now.
Knowlton examines the grand artistic and entrepreneurial visions behind Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Miami Beach and other storied sites, as well as the darker side of the frenzy. For while giant fortunes were being made and lost and the nightlife raged more raucously than anywhere else, the pure beauty of the Everglades suffered wanton ruination and the workers, mostly black, who built and maintained the boom, endured grievous abuses. Knowlton breathes dynamic life into the forces that made and wrecked Florida during the decade: the real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick and Addison Mizner, and the once-in-a-century hurricane whose aftermath triggered the stock market crash.
This essential account is a revelatory—and riveting—history of an era that still affects our country today. We think of it as an important cautionary tale.

Finally, the true and inside story of Hollywood’s forgotten force (and Garbo’s lover), Salka Viertel

Salka Viertel was once the highest paid writer on the MGM lot. She was also Greta Garbo’s lover, for whom she wrote five films.  A side note: So close were they that Viertel  bought a house next door to Garbo; when in 1969 Viertel  published her “autobiography” The Kindness of Strangers, she revealed their true relationship. Garbo never spoke to her again, avoiding her on the streets of New York City.

Garbo’s on the left

For the scores of wartime refugees fleeing persecution under Hitler she opened her doors to, Viertel was a lifeline. A courageous woman with a fascinating life and an incalculable impact on the lives of others, she has been long overdue for her moment in the spotlight.

So we can thank Donna Rifkind, whose biography, The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood(Other Press, $30) shines a light on this remarkable story.

Actress-turned-screenwriter (Viertel declared herself  “neither beautiful nor young enough” to be a movie star), she left Berlin for Hollywood in 1928, bringing with her the bohemian spirit of the Weimar era. She would work with the luminaries of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including George Cukor, Irving Thalberg and David O. Selznick. At her house in Santa Monica she opened her door on Sunday afternoons to scores of European émigrés who had fled from Hitler—such as Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht and Arnold Schoenberg—along with every kind of Hollywood star, from Charlie Chaplin to Shelley Winters. In the living room (the only one in town with comfortable armchairs, said one Hollywood insider), countless cinematic, theatrical, and musical partnerships were born. As Nazi domination grew in Europe, Viertel poured herself into the refugee cause, arranging for jobs and affidavits for Jews and anti-fascists seeking safety in America.

Garbo in perhaps her greatest film, “Queen Christina” (1933). Her lover wrote five film for her. Viertel co-wrote the film with Harold Marsh Harwood. She also co-wrote(with Clemence Dane) the 1935 classic “Anna Karenina”, a snatch seen below.

If Viertel’s name has been largely forgotten in America, it is because too few people believed what she accomplished was important. Now, alongside our current moment’s interest  in recovering historically-overlooked women’s creative contributions, investigating women’s ability to survive and flourish in sexist Hollywood, and considering the moral obligations of Americans to displaced people in a world undergoing a vast refugee crisis, the questions Salka asked herself in the ’30s and ’40s about how one should live—and the answers her life exemplified—are as vital as ever.

It’s impossible to understand the true history of Hollywood without knowing the story of the dramatic, courageous figure of Salka Viertel and her rescue mission.