Books to Know – Top 10 List – July 2012


1.  Gilt

by Katherine Longshore, 2012 (See book review)

2.  American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America

by Michelle Obama, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama’s first book chronicles her efforts to convert the White House’s South Lawn into a kitchen garden. As part of her ongoing campaign against childhood obesity, Obama includes recipes simple enough for children to follow and organized to correspond with seasonal produce at the White House. American Grown is a truly national cookbook, emblematic of the nation’s widening rediscovery of fresh ingredients and simple healthy living.

3.  Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

by John Scalzi, 2012

Ensign Andrew Dahl is thrilled to be assigned to the Universal Union Capital ship Intrepid, a space ship charged with exploring new life and new planets. Yet, the perils of his assignment become all too clear as low-ranked crew members die gruesome deaths on each Away Mission, while the ship’s captain, science officer, and Lieutenant Kerensky repeatedly escape. Author John Scalzi parodies the science fiction TV show Star Trek in a tour de force that will have sci-fi fanatics rolling on the floor.

4.  The Dream of the Celt

by Mario Vargas Llosa, June 2012

This heavily historical work of fiction covers the life of Roger Casement as he awaits execution for treason. Casement exposed human rights abuses in Africa and South America in the early twentieth century, earning a knighthood for his work from Great Britain, before joining the movement for Irish nationalism, which led to his untimely death. Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa attempts to reconcile this portrait with the revelations of controversial diaries that tainted his memory.

5.  The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier

by Ree Drummond, 2012

The third book from beloved food blogger Ree Drummond, known as The Pioneer Woman, features more easy-to-duplicate recipes with pictures demonstrating each step of the process. Ree’s commentary about her life on the farm with the kids and her husband “the Marlboro Man,” adds a delightful narrative.

6.  The Right Hand Shore

by Christopher Tilghman, 2012

In the prequel to his novel Mason’s Retreat, Christopher Tilghman depicts the one-day encounter between Mary Bayly, the dying owner of the Mason estate on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and Edward Mason, the young man who hopes to be her heir. Over the course of the day, Mary relates the sometimes unsavory history of the Mason family and the slaves who once tended their land.

7.  How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants

by David Rees, 2012

The inventor of the artisanal craft of pencil sharpening shares his expertise in this amusing, accurate, and erudite guide. In addition to tips on celebrity impression pencil sharpening and other novelty techniques, Rees includes an appendix on wines that taste like pencil shavings.

8.  Imagine: How Creativity Works

by Jonah Lehrer, 2012

Jonah Lehrer, Contributing Editor at Wired, explains how individuals and companies can harness the power of creativity to become more productive. In this accessible introduction to neurological processes and habits that enhance creativity, Lehrer analyzes companies such as Pixar and creative geniuses such as Bob Dylan.

9.  Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn, 2012

On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne’s beautiful wife Amy disappears. As the town watches Nick’s odd behavior, suspicions and pressures mount. Bestselling thriller author Gillian Flynn writes an utterly captivating investigation into the darker nature of marriage.

10.  A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook

by Chelsea Monroe-Casssel and Sariann Lehrer

Based on the popular book series and HBO television series, this cookbook includes recipes from across the Seven Kingdoms. Organized by region and accompanied with glossy photographs and quotes from the books, this is a must-have for any Game of Thrones fan. The authors include considerable research into medieval cooking methods, the real-life origins of the food.


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