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S.B.'s Reviews

Stefanie has been the cookbook buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz for over 25 years and credits her love of good food (and good times) to being born in New Orleans. Her favorite thing in the world is to cook for family and friends.

The Modern Gardener by Frances Tophill

British horticulturist Frances Tophill, contributor to the popular TV programs Love Your Garden and Gardeners’ World, shares her vast knowledge of gardening and advocacy for sustainable methods in her wonderful new book. While she provides plenty of information about selecting and growing beautiful plants, Tophill also emphasizes how to garden in balance with the natural world by reducing water, plastic plant containers, and chemicals, and by creating sanctuaries for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Readers will be inspired to enjoy the beauty of gardening in a less impactful way after reading The Modern Gardener.  —S.B.

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The Modern Gardener: A practical guide for creating a beautiful and creative garden Cover Image
ISBN: 9780857839435
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kyle Books - April 26th, 2022

Bigger Than Tiny, Smaller Than Average by Sheri Koones

Limited space doesn’t need to mean limited style, as Koones (the author of numerous books on pre-fab houses) illustrates beautifully in her new book. The 26 modern homes that are featured (including ADUs and converted garages) show how small can be comfortable, practical, efficient, and less expensive. There is endless style inspiration here, but also great advice on downsizing and maximizing space and energy-efficiency.  —S.B.

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Bigger Than Tiny, Smaller Than Average Cover Image
ISBN: 9781423658450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gibbs Smith - March 29th, 2022

Wild The Naturalistic Gardener by Noel Kingsbury

This beautiful new book features 40 gardens from around the world—from small urban spaces to large meadow plantings and public landscapes—that showcase wild, naturalistic planting. These gorgeous gardens embrace rather than dominate nature and reflect a shift away from traditional manicured and resource-draining gardens. As we grapple with climate change, sustainability is essential, but that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt and enjoy cultivating our landscapes. Whether you live in a coastal, urban, or desert environment, author Noel Kingsbury’s expertise and photographer Claire Takacs’s stunning images will show you the way.  —S.B.

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Wild: The Naturalistic Garden Cover Image
By Noel Kingsbury, Claire Takacs (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9781838661052
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Phaidon Press - March 9th, 2022

The Little Book of Crops in Small Spots by Jane Moore

British gardening expert Jane Moore’s new book is terrific for beginners, and shows that a rewarding supply of edible plants can be grown in even the smallest of spaces. Perfect for renters or anyone with limited space, Moore sets readers up for success with advice about location, soil, containers, seeds, and more. She also includes a valuable directory of 40 fruits and vegetables that grow well in pots—including mini cabbages, fruit bushes, and potatoes.  —S.B. 

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The Little Book of Crops in Small Spots: A Modern Guide to Growing Fruit and Veg Cover Image
ISBN: 9781787137318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quadrille Publishing - May 10th, 2022

Watermelon and Red Birds A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations by Nicole A. Taylor

Watermelon and Red Birds, the first cookbook to celebrate Juneteenth, exudes joy and festivity. Through her wonderful stories and recipes, Nicole Taylor tells the history of the holiday and of the all-day cookouts and gatherings surrounding it, from its earliest years to the present day. The fantastic recipes range broadly, from spice blends to drinks, salads to barbecue, ice cream to cakes. I can’t wait to try the Peach Jam & Molasses Glazed Chicken Thighs, Green Beans, Summer Peas & Corn Salad, and Roasted Nectarine Sundae. Truly a vivid and delicious ode to freedom!  —S.B.

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Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982176211
Availability: Not Yet Published - Available for Pre-Order; Please See Publication Date Below Before Ordering
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 31st, 2022

Horn Barbeque Recipes and Techniques from a Master of the Art of BBQ by Matt Horn

I’m super excited about this debut cookbook from acclaimed Oakland pitmaster Matt Horn, whose West Coast style draws on his roots in Texas and the South but is wholly his own. Alongside smoked meats, Horn incorporates the Bay Area’s seasonal bounty with lots of fruits, vegetables, seafood, and poultry. His barbecue is so revered that there is always a line out the door and down the block at his restaurant—which, despite only being open 4 days a week, is a finalist for the 2022 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. Who better to give a master class on how to make mouthwatering barbecue?  —S.B.

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Horn Barbecue: Recipes and Techniques from a Master of the Art of BBQ Cover Image
By Matt Horn, Adrian Miller (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780760374269
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harvard Common Press - April 12th, 2022

The Book of Difficult Fruit Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) by Kate Lebo

In her fascinating and compulsively readable mashup of a field guide, memoir, natural history, and cookbook, Lebo profiles 26 fruits—from aronia to osage orange to yuzu—that are troublesome in some way. Whether they are difficult to cultivate or harvest, have a tendency to rot or poison, or feature a short span of ripeness or invasive roots, Lebo lets her amateur curiosity about them loose and weaves obscure knowledge, deep research, and dark humor through her personal essays. This collection is a unique and highly rewarding read.  —S.B.

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The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250829474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - April 12th, 2022

My America Recipes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein

In acclaimed chef and Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi’s new cookbook, dishes like baby back ribs, sofrito, jollof, and jambalaya showcase the flavors of the African Diaspora and tell the story of his ancestry—from Nigeria to the Caribbean, Louisiana to the Bronx. Brimming with recipes that are new-to-me food (Egusi Stew) as well as more familiar (shrimp étouffée), My America’s personal stories and mouth-watering photos are an irresistible combination.  —S.B.

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My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525659600
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 17th, 2022

Gullah Geechee Home Cooking by Emily Meggett

One of the greatest living Gullah Geechee home cooks, 89-year-old Emily Meggett, shares the history, recipes, and stories of her community in her wonderful new cookbook. From seafood to vegetables, soups to sweets, “the matriarch of Edisto Island” shares the flavors of coastal South Carolina and the traditions of her ancestors. “Cooking is the way I take care of people, how I support my community, and how I love others,” she writes. Although filled with delicious food, it is clear from this book that generosity and heart are the most important ingredients in Gullah Geechee cooking.  —S.B.

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Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes from the Matriarch of Edisto Island Cover Image
By Emily Meggett, Kayla StewartKayla Stewart (Contributions by), Trelani Michelle (Contributions by), Clay Williams (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9781419758782
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams - April 26th, 2022

Salad Freak Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession by Jess Damuck

Warning: You may end up as obsessed with salads as Jess Damuck is after reading her new book. Her passion for bright, crunchy, seasonal mixes of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and grains is contagious and had me considering eating salad for breakfast, as she does. Going well beyond greens, her recipes shine with combinations like beets, tomatoes, and cilantro or radicchio with blood oranges and turmeric dressing. Damuck, the self-described “Bob Ross of salads” has created a book filled with food that is exceptionally beautiful, healthy, and completely irresistible.  —S.B.

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Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession Cover Image
By Jess Damuck, Martha Stewart (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781419758393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 29th, 2022


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