Fresh Ink: New Books Out Today: April 23, 2013

Food! Fiction! Humor! Self-help! Get some variety in your reading life with today’s new releases.

cooked michael pollanCooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan (The Penguin Press)

In a departure from his philosophy-of-eating motif, Michael Pollan recounts his own culinary education and attempts to master classic recipes based on the four classical elements–earth, air, fire, and water. Along the way, “he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook.” That sounds intriguing to me–more so than Pollan’s previous offerings, which I have to confess I’ve avoided (but yes, I do know that I should eat food, not too much, mostly plants). I’m more interested in thinking and learning about food than in being told what or how to eat, so I’m looking forward to meeting Pollan on that middle ground and maybe, just maybe, dripping some coffee or spaghetti sauce onto this pages as I go.




dear lucyDear Lucy by Julie Sarkissian (Simon & Schuster)

Okay, so you can be a fan of an author, and a fan of a publisher or imprint, but what about being a fan of an editor? It’s not a thing I hear about very often, but I am a die-hard fan of Simon & Schuster’s Sarah Knight, who edits a wide variety of fiction and creative nonfiction, and it’s always good. Dead Lucy found its way into my mailbox not too long ago, and I’ve been saving it for a sunny day when I can gobble it down whole. I love a novel with a unique narrative voice, and this opening bit from the synopsis has me all kinds of excited: “Lucy is a young woman with an uncommon voice and unusual way of looking at the world. She would tell you that she is “missing too many words,” but despite her limitations she has a boundless zest for discovery and a deep desire to connect with those around her. “




Let's Explore Diabetes with OwlsLet’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris (Little, Brown and Company)

Fellow Rioter Emily included this new Sedaris essay collection in her list of 5 books to watch for in April, declaring Sedaris back from the slump that was Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and HOO BOY was she right. Sedaris takes us back into his childhood in North Carolina, telling stories about his father (who took off his pants before coming to the dinner table) and the shenanigans he and his siblings had. He takes us to Paris and Beijing and on a book tour across the U.S., and he does it all with his signature humor and wry, occasionally biting observations about human behavior and American culture. A nice return to classic Sedaris, and if you’ve never read him, a good entry point!





this is how augusten burroughsThis Is How: Surviving What You Think You Can’t by Augusten Burroughs (Picador)

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out Augusten Burroughs’ new book wasn’t another memoir of dysfunction but instead a self-help title. But it sort of makes sense, you know? His childhood, recounted in Running With Scissors, was all kinds of horrifying, but Burroughs survived. He became an alcoholic, but he dried out and wrote a book about his experience in rehab (Dry). I am equal parts genuinely interested about how he did this and looky-loo curious about what advice he’ll be sharing. I’m not sure I’m ready to take advice from Burroughs, but I sure do want to kno what it’ll be.


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