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Previous Staff Picks

By Steve Duin and Shannon Wheeler
"With Steve Duin’s text, Shannon Wheeler’s illustrations, and Bill McKibben’s introduction, this book will make you revisit and reconsider the Gulf Coast and the events of Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophic BP oil spill. The narrative style and down-to-earth characters make reading informative, engaging, and entertaining. For adults and teens who want to learn about their world and take in recent history through a graphic non-fiction work, this book should be high on the list. You won’t want to put it down, and when you’re done, you’ll want to share it around."
– Lauren
By Christopher Paul Curtis
It may be Black History Month but don't use this as an excuse to pick up The Watsons Go To Birmingham -- 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. Meet Kenny. He's your average ten year old kid, his older brother is too cool for school and his younger sister is the adored baby of the family, which makes Kenny the middle kid. Follow "The Weird Watsons" as they go, endure sibling battles, share family antics and go on a road trip to Alabama to visit Grandma Sands. Set during the Civil Rights Movement, Curtis's book is funny, bittersweet and poignantly written. In my opinion, this coming of age tale didn't win enough awards! You can meet the author in person on February 10th at Black, White and Read All Over.
– Linda
By David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding
Does your brain turn into pudding every time you walk into a supermarket and are faced with thousands of choices about what to put in your cart? Armed with the Eat This, Not That Supermarket Survival Guide, you'll be able to quickly decide which products to buy and which to avoid. This isn't a diet book exactly; the authors are more concerned with helping you make better, if not best choices, to avoid excess calories, sugar and potentially harmful additives. They're not telling you to skip the cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast, just to get the brand with 30 fewer calories and half the sugar in each slice. Your brain might still turn into pudding, but hopefully it will be a Sugar-Free Snack Pack (only 60 calories and 3 grams of fat) instead of a Jello Chocolate Vanilla Swirl (with 110 calories and 14 grams of sugar).
– Dan
By Sharon Flake
In this collection of realistic fiction, you'll find text messages, diary entries, poems, letters, and short stories that won't let you stop reading till you've devoured the whole thing. Sharon Flake's young adult book delivers the drama through believable teen voices - female and male, too. Check out Who Am I Without Him?
– Lauren
By William Steig
If you like puzzles, then C D B! is the picture book for you! Written by William Steig, the same author that brought us Shrek, this book will test your patience and vocabulary. The letters make a sentence, the sentence needs to match the picture. It sounds easy but you'll be challenged in no time! And for the adults, just because this book is a children's book doesn't mean grown-ups won't like it, it's a book meant for all ages. What are you waiting for, stop in at Allentown this week to pick it up!
– Linda
By Bryant Terry
You don't have to be vegan to be inspired by Bryant Terry's refreshing approach to cooking "vegan soul food." Terry, an Oakland, CA, based chef and food activist, works hard to capture the essence of African-American and Southern cuisines while refraining from using animal products that he claims are unhealthy and bad for the environment. Whether you're a vegan who is suffering from culinary ennui, or just curious about a different approach to putting something healthy on the table for your family, Terry's eclectic style and passion for food is sure to make you want to hit the play button on your stereo and get working in the kitchen.
– Dan
By Marilou K. Suszko
If you are tired of cookbooks from California where farmers markets run year round, try this nicely organized book from Ohio University Press that deals with produce we can find locally.
By Amy Traverso
Fall is just around the corner and here's an award-winning book to help you use those wonderful local apples! Traverso is the food editor of Yankee magazine and talks about the apple's history and varieties as well as providing recipes. She also takes you around the country to meet farmers, cider makers, and apple enthusiasts.
by Marie Iannotti
It's not always easy growing heirlooms so it's nice that Iannotti has selected the easiest ones to grow. I'm told you can still sow lettuce for a fall crop at this time of year...
by Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
This time Lidia features Italian-American cooking. So stop by PennMac and pick up the necessary ingredients. Or just stop by Lidia's...
by Didi Emmons
A Boston chef's cooking is transformed by Eva Sommaripa, a former potter who raises 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible "weeds" on her two-acre farm in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Listen to an interview on Radio Boston.
by Barbara Scott-Goodman and Liz Trovato
Are you wondering what to do with all those beet greens, arugula, kale and collards? Here are some simple recipes to help your with the overflow.
by Rosetta Costantino
Calabria lies at the tip of Italy's boot and is rural and poor, which makes for self-sufficiency. Try making your own Calabrian sausages from scratch with Rosetta's recipe. Very tasty!
by Jessica Theroux
Pick up Parmesan cheese, type 00 and semolina flours and polenta in the Strip and then sit down with this cookbook and try the Nonna recipes for semolina gnocchi, polenta with gorgonzola or pesto lasagna.