A Recipe for Cooking (Morrow, $29.99) is Cal Peternell’s follow up to his 2014 book 12 Recipes. In the earlier book, Peternell teaches home cooks some basic recipes and techniques, while his newest takes these lessons to the next level. Organized by season, the meals presented here range from intimate dinners for two to banquets designed to feed a large crowd. Some of the recipes included: Savory Tart with Onions, Olive, and Anchovies; Shredded Zucchini Fritters with Basil Mayonnaise; Citrus Salad with Ginger, Cilantro, and Saffron-toasted Pistachios. With photographs and drawings, Peternell explains everything clearly and puts these tasty dishes within range of intrepid home cooks.
Most remarkable about Fridlund’s History of Wolves is the energy and eloquence of the young narrator’s voice. 14 year old Linda is a social outcast living with her parents in the last vestiges of an abandoned commune in northern Minnesota. When an attractive mother and her young son move in nearby, Linda becomes young Paul’s babysitter and practically part of their family. After the husband returns, a tragedy that could have been prevented devastates the family and spoils the relationship between them and the young babysitter. Emotionally devastating and beautifully written, History of Wolves works on every level.
Miss Jane is a novel of quiet heroism: Jane’s strength and courage to bear up gracefully under an unfortunate condition and her doctor’s selfless and genuine love for her. Set in a small Mississippi town in the early 20th century, Brad Watson’s novel is a deeply affecting character study of a young woman born with ambiguous genitalia and intestinal problems. Her condition bars her from living a normal life—going to school, socializing with people her own age. Her only friend outside her family is her neighbor, the doctor who is treating her. Their relationship deepens as he is the only person able to see past her condition and appreciate her intelligence and goodness. Mostly, it’s a book about courage, and quiet revelation.