AdultBook's blog

Dinner Diaries

Can a food writer with two young children and a husband - picky eaters, all three - revamp her family's eating habits to include more local, organic, and sustainable meals that also involve less meat for the sake of her family's health as well as that of the environment? Author Betsy Block shares her experiences in her first book, The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World. Readers of Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and Marion Nestle (What to Eat) will find themselves in familiar (and usually repetitive) territory reading about Block's research about food and conversations with the experts. In fact, Block quotes frequently from the three aforementioned books. But what makes this book unique and down-to-earth is the "diary" aspect - the feedback (which is often negative) that Block receives from her family, how she counteracts their resistance (not always successfully, she admits), what she finds worth persevering and what she decides not to fight about, and, ultimately, to what degree she found the whole experiment realistic and practical. Readers also will find helpful an appendix that includes recipes, Web sites, and other food-related resources.

A Little Trouble with the Facts

Valerie Vane, self-described "supreme scribe of the urban zeitgeist" as a Style reporter for a prominent New York City newspaper, suddenly finds herself relegated to the Obituary Desk after a drug-induced rage, covered thoroughly and gleefully in the tabloids, at a trendy nightclub. An unsolicited call from an anonymous tipster allows Valerie an opportunity to redeem her personal and professional reputation when she learns that the untimely death of a talented graffiti artist may have been the result of murder, rather than suicide, as had been stated in the young man's published obituary, which Valerie had written. Determined not to damage her career further due to another public mistake, Valerie embarks on a journey of investigative journalism that takes her into the heart of the clandestine subculture of the city's graffiti artists. Witty, clever, and full of film noir references, which creatively parallel the main characters and their lives, A Little Trouble with the Facts, the debut novel from Nina Siegal, will leave readers eagerly awaiting her next book.

Off the Beaten Path

Readers who like their history books with plenty of anecdotes, sidebars, and little-known facts will enjoy Assassination Vacation, Sarah Vowell’s stories-behind-the-stories of the assassinations of United States Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Vowell actually visited virtually every site connected with these three assassinations and recounts not only the history of the individuals involved (namely, the presidents and assassins and their respective families), but also the stories of contemporary-era individuals (historians, museum curators, tour guides, descendants of the famous and infamous) whose lives and livelihoods have been touched by these heinous crimes. An offbeat but very entertaining and educational read.

Patterson the Way You Like Him!

The Quickie
James Patterson
Lauren Stillwell's life turns upside down when she suspects her husband of having an affair. Her revenge seems swift and sweet, but soon leads to a crime she never imagined possible. Can Lauren recover from the lies and betrayal one night unleashed? Patterson keeps the story moving with his trademark suspense and pacing. Good beach reading!

Off to Botswana, anyone?

The Miracle at Speedy motors (Latest in the series "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)by Alexander McCall Smith
Are gas prices keeping you home this summer? Don't worry, sit back on an easy chair and join Precious Ramostwe for a "ride". Mma Ramotswe is the number one lady detective of Botswana! Granted, she is "traditionally built" and her white van is tiny, but she won't crowd you, she is very accommodative! The roads in Botswana may be bumpy but the landscape is quite exotic! In this ninth title in the series, Mma Ramotswe tackles the mystery of some anonymous hate letters and that of a missing family. She is endowed with such grace, intuition and intelligence that she is a natural problem solver. Her knowledge of "The Principles of Private Investigation" by Clovis Anderson is so thorough, that she can quote any passage from it anytime! Of course she has help from her big-spectacled associate, Mma Makutsi; a graduate from Botswana Secretarial College with a fantastic score of 97% in the final exam!

Suspense in the Middle East

The Last Secret of the Temple
Paul Sussman

Set in the Middle East, this gripping suspense weaves a spellbinding mix of archaeology, murder, and history. With the discovery of a body found in Egypt, detective Yusuf Khalifa becomes involved in a case that entails murder, corruption, and a conspiracy that will lead far beyond what he could have imagined.

House of Cards

Kevin Lewis was not your average blackjack player. As a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined a clandestine team of several other mathematically gifted MIT students who had studied and fine-tuned various strategies for the popular and, the experts say, only beatable casino card game. For four years during the mid-1990s, Kevin and his teammates flew to Las Vegas on weekends, worked surreptitiously as a team at the blackjack tables, and raked in thousands of dollars per weekend. How they did it, what motivated them to pursue this lifestyle for so long, and how they were eventually discovered, makes for a jaw-dropping, page-turning, amazingly true story as recounted in Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich.

Science as Entertainment

The Canon:  A whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

Natalie Angier

Ms. Angier is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the New York Times.  She combines a passion for science with an understanding of how it works and then writes about it with wit and intelligence.  This is a book for any parent who has been asked what is electricity or how was the earth made.  It is also for anyone wanting to understand many of the issues facing us today--from stem cells to bird flu and global warming.  All the major scientific disciplines are brought to light:  physics, chemistry, biology, geology and astronomy in a book that will inspire and recapture each reader's childhood fascination with the world around us.

Three Cheers for Laurie R. King!

by Laurie R. King
A great stand alone title from the author of the Mary Russell mysteries, this novel is set in post World War I England. It follows the efforts of an American agent hunting down a terrorist who has ties to bombings in the United States. In order to get close to his suspect, Harris Stuyvesant befriends a wounded British soldier who left the war with incredible extrasensory abilities after nearly getting killed in the trenches.

Summer Drama

Body Surfing
by Anita Shreve
Sydney takes a summer job with a wealthy New Hampshire family tutoring their young daughter Julie while they vacation at their beach cottage. During her stay, Sidney finds herself enmeshed in family jealousies and secrets eventually reawakening rivalries between two older brothers who visit the cottage periodically.