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Monday, January 31, 2011

Books on Baking: Ban Those Winter Blues

The book Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking, written by Nick Malgieri, is an ideal selection for beginning and intermediate bakers. Each of its twenty chapters highlights a different baking technique; its 125 recipes include numbered steps and many photographs.

Baked Explorations : Classic American Desserts Reinvented, written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, is the second book from the owners of the Brooklyn bakery Baked. (They now own a second bakery in Charleston, South Carolina.) Seventy-five recipes are distributed in chapters featuring breakfast, tarts and pies, cookies and bars, cakes, confections and pastry. The authors have appeared often on television with Oprah, Martha Stewart, and on the Food Network.

The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, written by Anne Byrn, is one of several Cake Mix Doctor books from the author. Using gluten-free cake mixes in combination with a variety of other items, Byrn produces cakes, cupcakes, brownies, bars and cookies, frosting and more from over seventy-five recipes. Byrn often appears on television shows' cooking segments.

Sarabeth's Bakery : from My Hands to Yours, written by Sarabeth Levine with Rick Rodgers, is the first cookbook from the longtime Manhattan bakery owner. Scones, muffins, croissants, cookies, and other classics, often paired with the spreadable fruits for which Sarabeth is known, are featured in her step-by-step recipes accompanied by photos. More advanced recipes are presented too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

The author, Aaron Lansky, was a graduate student who took a Yiddish language class. At that time, Yiddish was believed to be a dying language. His professor encouraged him to travel to New York to search for some Yiddish books. Aaron was able to track down an assortment of them that someone was throwing out. He realized that if something wasn’t done, soon there wouldn’t be any Yiddish books left in the world. So began Aaron’s adventures as a collector and distributor of Yiddish books.

Working with a small group of like-minded friends, Aaron created the National Yiddish Book Center. They traveled cross-country and around the world to rescue Yiddish books being discarded because their owners were moving from their homes and didn’t have room for them, or the children who inherited the books weren’t able to read them. For each donation of books, they also were showered with an abundance of home-cooked meals and colorful stories. Eventually the group established a permanent library on a New England college campus, where the collection of over one million and a half books is available, some for reference use and some for circulation. An ongoing digitization project will guarantee the perpetuation of these works.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Resolutions: Grow Your Finances

Is 2011 the year you want to increase your personal wealth? Here are some books to help you.

“Debt Free for Life”, written by David Bach, offers tips on how to get out of debt and avoid incurring new debt using his Debt Wise program. He also shows how to lower the interest rates on credit cards, fix your credit report and score, get non-profit credit counseling, and more.

“Getting Started in Rebuilding Your 401(k) Account: A Comprehensive Guide to a Strong Retirement Portfolio, Second Edition”, written by Paul Katzeff, is a current handbook on restoring your investments to their pre-recession levels. From the basics of 401 (k) plans, to new rules about them, to choosing the right investments, this guide can assure your financial future.

“The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less”, written by John Robbins, focuses on finding success through health and happiness, not financial wealth. He offers tips on living on less, fitness through diet and exercise, and planning for economic catastrophes.