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jenkinsvrhm   , 69

from West New York

Thrillist: Eat Like Coolio, The Nuge And Sinatra With These Bizarro Celebrity Cookbooks

Eat like Coolio, The Nuge and Sinatra With These Bizarro Celebrity Cookbooks Posted: 07/31/2013 9:13 am Credit: The Kind Life Celebrities have many talents: for instance, John Travolta can fly a plane and hear your thoughts from space. But which celeb's gonna be the MVP at a party? Try Coolio. Or General Zod. Or maybe the ghost of Yul Brynner, because those cats can cook for a crowd, as evidenced by these bizarro-world cookbooks "written" by everyone from Ted Nugent to Sinatra. It ain't a party until somebody busts out the squirrel stew... Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet In an effort to promote healthy eating and trimming the excess baggage that comes with the Unkind Diet of Dorito/bacon smoothies, the actress offers up a massive list of vegan food that, unlike most vegan food, actually sounds pretty good. Signature dish: Avocado Alfredo, which subs the green stuff for cream but is somehow so delicious that you'll be clueless it's actually good for you. Cookin' with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price It ain't a gangsta's paradise without the right eats, and Coolio's book -- which springboarded into a web series -- covers all the bases, with chapters covering everything from starters ("Appetizers for that Ass") to meats ("Pimpin' the Poultry", "It's Hard Out There for a Shrimp") to healthy choices for the ladies ("Salad-Eating Bitches"). Signature dish: Coolio Fork Steak, from the "Sinful Steaks" section. Get top stories and blogs posts emailed to you each day. HuffPost
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Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW The successful comedy series that began with Awkward (2012) continues by focusing on the girl everyone loves to hate, Chelsea, Queen of the Notables at Smith High School. When her battling parents decide to divorce, they send 17-year old Chelsea on a college-level seminar program in Cambodia. Chelsea resists her fellow students and her enthusiastically friendly professor, Neal, until a comedy of errors throws unsuspecting Chelsea and Neal into the middle of a drug deal gone bad. The police arrive and arrest Neal for dealing drugs, a charge usually resulting in a death sentence. Chelsea and the other students realize that somehow they will have to try to free their professor on their own. Even with this dark scenario, Bates uses Chelsea’s extensive flirting skills and the talents of intimidation that won her the high school popularity crown in her pursuit of the real villains. Going beyond thriller-comedy tropes, she also delves into Chelsea’s personality. Chelsea has always believed she’s just a dumb blonde who can’t cope with schoolwork, but with this challenge, she realizes that she has another kind of intelligence—one that allows her to compete with an international gangster. Readers get an inside view into the good side of the popular girl, showing that she has as many insecurities as the geeks do; she just hides them more successfully. Another funny, lighthearted romp from Bates. (Chick lit/suspense. 12 & up) Pub Date:Oct. 29th, 2013
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[photo: Andrews Mcmeel] - Eater National

John Currence on His New Cookbook and the Scourge of Southern Cliches Get the latest from Eater National Facebook Thursday, October 24, 2013, by Paula Forbes [Photo: Andrews McMeel] Oxford, Mississippi chef John Currence released his first cookbook, Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some, from Andrews McMeel earlier this Fall. A sprawling ode to his particular breed of Southern cooking, the book is arranged by technique and contains recipes from Currence's New Orleans youth, his training as a chef, and his restaurants in Oxford. Below, he discusses his place in Southern cuisine, how randomly selected dishes ended up telling the story of his career, and making sure the South has "a seat at the table in the conversation on American food. To be very clear I'm still kind of pissed that it took this fucking long to get here." Pickles, Pigs, & Whiskey is out now; buy on Amazon or check out Eater's preview. First of all, why did you want to write a cookbook? I don't really know. I'm not very smart, and everyone told me that this is what I should do, and so I did. And I think I really started trying to write something in about 1998, when John Grisham was still in Oxford and we were close-ish and I had a pile of friends who were writers, including Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, and Tom Franklin. I did reading for some of those guys, I did manuscript work for them. Between that, being amongst those guys, and a regular visit from a publisher here and there saying, you really need to do a book, we'd love to do a book with you, I just became convinced for some reason that oh, okay, well, I need to write a book. "So it was just like fuck, shit, shit, fuck started coming out..." >>> I worked on it for a very long time, just throwing stuff away because it was all garbage. I was trying to write to an audience in the way I thought that they wanted to hear. I felt like, if I was going to write something, I thought I had to contribute something profound to the discussion on Southern food, and so I just really was trying to force this garbage out. And it wasn't until I actually was signed by Andrews McMeel to do this book, who really, they signed me totally blindly. We had talked forever and I very much knew that Kirsty Melville, who runs the cookbook division, wanted to do something with me and we had no idea what it was. We signed a contract that was like, John Currence will turn in a cookbook on this day. And we're gonna pay him up front and we'll pay him when he submits, and wahoo, we're off to the races. How long ago was that? That was about two and a half years ago when we executed the contract. For another year after that, I really continued to struggle through to write something meaningful. It was very frustrating, because everybody who read it for me, including my wife who was an amazing editor, Wright Thompson from ESPN, John T. Edge, all read it for me. All of them said very much the same thing, which was: who is this guy? This is not you. Just write like you tell stories. I just couldn't make that happen because I was trying to approach the subject matter from an academic standpoint. And I got very, very, very frustrated and the deadline began to loom, so finally I had about three glasses of bourbon one night in my office and just went fuck it, I'm just going to write fucking stories. So it was just like fuck, shit, shit, fuck started coming out and the next thing I know I'm spewing out these stories and realizing, oh okay, I can tell the story of my life and my career through food, and so that's what I'll do. People like to listen to me tell stories, and so all I've gotta do is tell stories about food, and we're off. Who cares about the academic crap, you know? I've got nothing to say. So that was it and that's really when the tide turned, and really I just plummeted it out. It happened very naturally and quickly, so that was that. [Photo: Paula Forbes / Eater.com] And you're happy with how it turned out? That you went the story-telling route as opposed to something more "academic," whatever that might mean? Oh, absolutely. I tell people a lot that — as sort of a grotesque, self-loathing Catholic — I was perfectly prepared to be done with this thing and turn it in and never want to see it again. I was just going to hate it when it came back to me. And so when the page layouts started coming back and pictures were inserted and things started to take shape, it was exciting, and when I finally got the book, I didn't go skipping through the yard waving through the air or anything, but I was surprised at how glad I was to see it and how happy I was with it. I think it's because ultimately it's a very honest representation of who I am, of what our food's all about, of what our philosophy and our aesthetic is, so that was that. And people have responded to it nicely, too. My next fear was that I'd just get out there and I'd just get annihilated for being this foul-mouthed redneck. People have responded nicely particularly to the fact that it's honest. Folks seem to really understand that it was a very, very personal thing to do. There are family stories as well as professional stories that I was sharing with folks. How did you pick which recipes to include? The recipes really come from all walks of my experience, whether it's in the home or from the restaurants. A majority of it is stuff that we have done at the restaurants. A significant amount of it is stuff that [I] wouldn't probably do at home, like I don't pickle ram hearts at home. Not to say that if I didn't do what I do for a living that I wouldn't pickle ram hearts at home, but I just have not had a moment where I've said, well that's what we should do. So, yeah, it's odd, I read the chapters and selected the dishes blindly for an outline that I wrote and just posted them on my office wall to work from. It just turned out that as I was writing each recipe — and this was sort of an epiphany — that everything about what we do, or what I do, has a narrative to it. There's a reason it exists. And I only really truly began to understand the implications of the personal expression of sharing food with people, whether it be in a professional or in a home setting, and that really sort of set the hook for me. I realized that, holy shit, I picked these dishes randomly, but every one of has a story that goes along with it that's germane to why I cook the way that I do. Each recipe has a song to go with it. How did you pick those? Did you use that same sort of gut instinct, or was there more concrete reasoning behind the selections? It's really just more of a feeling than anything else. I mean there are some that are literal: a sweet potato recipe gets "Sweet Potato" by Booker T and the M.G.'s. There are others that are just really more personal expression. I looked at every recipe and thought, okay, what's my mindset when I'm writing this: okay, ELO. Next, oh, definitely, Hall & Oates. It's not entirely random, but it's really more of a personal choice, other than the ones that are tagged, very obviously titled in a way or messaged in a way that telegraphs something about the name of that dish. [Photo: Paula Forbes / Eater.com] When this book was announced, you told us that you were looking for a way to write a book that stood out, that was different from other Southern cookbooks. How did you try to differentiate this from other Southern cookbooks? Well, a couple of things. The first thing — that I continued to chant through writing the entire thing — is that I'm not going to participate in the cliché that sort of bogs down Southern cooking or cubby holes us as prosaic or what have you. And what I found as I went along is that in spite of the fact that I wanted to avoid certain clichés, that there were certain things — I can't name names, but some cookbooks trade in cliché — certain things are unavoidable. I wanted to write this story about making sweet tea, but also explain to folks as a storyteller how in the creative mind, storytelling mind, you curate stories. As the years go along you embellish them with details to a point where you can take someone else's story, fold a detail of it into yours, and convince yourself that that's — if you tell it enough — that that's what happened. It's kind of weirdly Republican in that way. If you repeat it enough, it will ultimately be believed. It's not a lie, it's just that that's the way. I drink a lot of iced tea, and I make my iced tea in a very specific way, and I attribute it to a Southern writer named Eugene Walter who I absolutely love. And when I went back to research the recipe, I swear that 20 years ago I read an article about Eugene Walter and how he made iced tea. And I make tea now that will literally last refrigerated for like three weeks without going stale. And so I attributed it to him but in researching it, I can't find any evidence anywhere of anything that he wrote about making tea. So at this point I attribute it to him — it could be a lie [laughs] — but I'm attributing the spirit. So I did find myself, I guess, grabbing things that — I sort of bristle when I see these things, like [exaggerated Southern accent] frilly aprons and screen doors and porch swings and iced tea. But I couldn't avoid using that iced tea recipe as a way to tell another story. Or the fact that, well, okay, catfish, couldn't get a hell of a lot more Southern than that. Well, you know what, we got some folks down here that are raising incredibly delicious, well-raised, organic catfish, and so why not use catfish? There's a certain amount of cliché that was unavoidable. Now, that being said, we just didn't lean on gross clichéd dishes and what not. I rail on Paula Deen pretty regularly for furthering a stereotype for Southerners that I find offensive. I feel like it continues to undermine the work that a number of us have done to bring a legitimacy or intellectual credibility to the food of the South, so I wanted to do everything I could to put something on paper that expressed a voice of the South that was a seat at the table in the conversation on American food. To be very clear I'm still kind of pissed that it took this fucking long to get here. Another thing I wanted to do is, I really wanted to bust up the traditional chapter structure in the book. The coursed chapter structure bored me a little bit, and there's a little short explanation in the book about how my parents, it was a running joke about how long it would take me to quit playing with the toy that they gave me on Christmas before I started taking it apart to see how it worked, and so I've always been fascinated with technique. Unfortunately books these days are sometimes so ghostwritten that you read them, and they could be about any random restaurant. But yours, you really get the voice and that this is food that people are actually cooking as opposed to someone's idea of what Southern food should be. Right. As much as folks like to say, well, Southern food is fried fried fried and lots of butter, we all know that it's much deeper than that. The odd thing about it is that it's changing, and it always has changed, and it continues to change. And that's sort of the beauty of it. We take whatever immigrant population moves into the area, and they use our ingredients, we use their dishes, and everything's fusion. Do you use cookbooks? Do you read cookbooks, and how did that influence you writing a cookbook? I do use and read. I have a huge collection of cookbooks, and I absolutely love them. I used to read them like novels. These days I don't have as much time as I used to, so I don't find myself reading them cover to cover, but they're a tremendous source of influence. I was just having a conversation last night about how somebody was asking me about a couple recipes in the book that I attribute to Sean Brock or David Chang or Mike Lata or Ashley Christensen as inspirations. Somebody was asking, You're not afraid of people accusing you of stealing ideas? And I was like, no. I think it's stupid that that conversation even occurs. We're friends, and I can't think of any greater flattery than one of my friends saying, dude that pâté was so fucking good, I'm going to go home and make it. I might want to do it this way or that, but I want to create that end product. Nothing's more flattering. And anybody who tells you that they don't do it in some way, shape, or form is a fucking liar. That they don't try other people's recipes, you mean? Yeah, or they don't find inspiration and influence for things that they write by eating other people's food or reading other people's books. You're on a promotional trip of sorts right now. Do you want to tell me a little bit about what you're up to for the book? It's kind of like an old-school book tour, except my publisher was entirely on board with the fact that I said I want to go out and promote the book I don't want to sit in an empty fucking Barnes and Noble and sign two books a day. Let's marry up with buddies who will host us for seated events. If we can put together a format that will work and folks will host us, we can go sell a pile of books and put on a meal and raise awareness, so that's what we're doing. [Photo: Paula Forbes / Eater.com] Lightning Round Which recipe from the book would you make if... ...You're having a bunch of people over to watch a football game: Red beans and rice gumbo (page 42). ...You're having your lady friend over for a fancy dinner and you want to impress her: The veal Country Captain, nice and spicy to get things going (page 157). ...You're having a bunch of friends you haven't seen in a while over for a dinner party: I think we'd do something comforting like the garlic-duck sausage with collard choucroute garni (page 120). ...You're on the road feeling homesick, and you want to make something that reminds you of home: The jambalaya boudin (page 122). And of course I'm making a drink with every one of those.

An Exhaustive Survey From Columbus To Nemesis In 'roth Unbound'

5938685099506622130.jpgby Claudia Roth Pierpont A Writer and His Books Claudia Roth Pierpont Read an excerpt Roth Unbound, Claudia Roth Pierpont's aptly titled study of Philip Roth's evolution as a writer, unleashes a slew of memories — including my eye-opening first encounter with Portnoy's Complaint as a naive 14-year-old. It also stokes a strong desire to re-read his books, which I suspect will be the case for many. About that early memory: My father was an avid fan, who connected with Roth's exuberant, subversive take on sex and what it meant to be both a secular Jew and an American in the years following WorId War II. And because I read pretty much whatever I found lying around our home, I wrote a report on his groundbreaking fourth book in my ninth grade reading journal. While most readers were shocked by Portnoy's outrageous, unquenchable lust, what bowled me over was the realization that my overbearing Brooklyn grandmother wasn't unique: Roth had captured her right down to her name, Sophie! (My teacher, no doubt taken aback, commented, "I'd never recommend it to ninth grade readers, but you seem to have seen what's best in it.") Pierpont, no relation to Roth despite her middle name, became friendly with the writer after he sent her a letter in response to one of her New Yorker articles. In the book's introduction, she acknowledges that she has benefited from his decision to stop writing fiction, which he announced publicly last year: Now "he had time to talk about his work because he wasn't doing it anymore." Her book is sprinkled with tantalizing glimpses of the man, whom she describes as "a brilliant talker... as funny as you might think from his books," and of his life, including an amusing dinner at his Connecticut home with Mia Farrow. There are also passing mentions of lovers who provided the models for some of his characters. But readers looking for more of the juicy personal stuff will have to wait for a full-scale biography. Roth Unbound is mainly about the books. A longtime contributor and staff writer for The New Yorker, Claudia Roth Pierpont is the author of Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World, a collection of essays on women writers. Shiva Rouhani/Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux All of them. Pierpont tracks Roth's recurrent themes — Jewish identity, manliness, sexual desire, art versus life, the unpredictable savagery of history, illness and mortality – through one book after another, from Goodbye, Columbus in 1959 to Nemesis in 2010. This makes for a dazzling if sometimes exhausting journey. We're relieved when she finally makes it through the entire formidable stack and brings us up to date in a more intimate bonus chapter, "Afterthoughts, Memories, and Discoveries: At It Again." Despite her personal tie and obvious admiration, Pierpont doesn't mince words in her literary criticism, and her book is better for it. She deems Roth's first novel, Letting Go, "overlong and — toward the end, especially — laborious." His 1998 novel, I Married a Communist (part of his American trilogy, along with American Pastoral and The Human Stain) "does not really work," she writes. "I don't believe there is a book by Roth in which the voices are dimmer or less engaging." On the other hand, The Ghost Writer, published in 1979, elicits her highest praise: "Like The Great Gatsby or Willa Cather's The Professor's House, it is one of our literature's rare, inevitably brief, inscrutably musical, and nearly perfect books." Then she probes further: "What had happened to make this possible?" More on Philip Roth At 80, Philip Roth Reflects On Life, Literature And The Beauty Of Naps Pierpont flags Roth's "vocal immediacy," exceptional ear and inventive playfulness, his penchant for Swiftian satire, "hall-of-mirrors intricacy," moral dilemmas, doppelgangers, counterlives and "the rapturous list." She reminds us repeatedly that even the recurring characters who share his biographical details — Nathan Zuckerman, David Kepesh, and "Philip Roth" — are masks, and are not to be mistaken for the author. She keeps her quotes to a minimum, but they include winners like this line from The Counterlife: "Jews are to history what Eskimos are to snow." Pierpont dutifully — and defensively — addresses the accusations of anti-Semitism and misogyny that have shadowed Roth throughout his career, the latter amplified after the 1996 publication of his second wife Claire Bloom's furious post-divorce memoir, Leaving the Doll's House. "It should be clear by now," she comments, "that Roth, when attacked, prefers to goad rather than retreat: to make mischief, to get adrenaline flowing." It often seems that he's fueled by what Mickey Sabbath, his "deliberately abrasive and insanely funny" misanthropic character in Sabbath's Theater, called the male hormone: "preposterone." In her enthusiasm, Pierpont occasionally goes over the top with "not since" pronouncements. "It's possible that not since Proust has a writer so nearly captured Time," she writes of Sabbath's Theater. Or, more broadly: "Not since Henry James, it seems to me, has an American novelist worked at such a sustained pitch of concentration and achievement, book after book after book." Which leaves me wondering: What about John Updike and Saul Bellow (both of whose relationships with Roth she considers at length)? Not to mention Joyce Carol Oates and E.L. Doctorow. That said, Roth Unbound brings heightened understanding to the extraordinary scope and risk-taking brilliance of Roth's work, and makes a compelling case for its enduring importance. In fact, not since I first read Portnoy's Complaint have I been so struck by a writer's willingness to – dare I say it? – expose himself to so much outraged criticism.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/10/23/236380848/an-exhaustive-survey-from-columbus-to-nemesis-in-roth-unbound?ft=1&f=1034

'boxers & Saints' & Compassion: Questions For Gene Luen Yang

http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/b/boxers-saints/9781596439245_custom-c850444ef27fe186641710b62184d05e262b7e6a-s6-c30.jpgOctober 22, 2013 3:00 PM First Second Books Gene Luen Yang broke out in 2006 with American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award. It weaves three stories — about a Chinese-American boy, a terrible stereotype named Chin-Kee and the mythical Monkey King — into a complex tapestry of identity and assimilation. Yang returns to the theme of identity and sense of self in his latest book, another National Book Award candidate. Boxers & Saints is a diptych following a Chinese boy and girl as their lives are upended by the Boxer Rebellion. Little Bao joins the Boxers — a violent, mystically-inspired fighting society dedicated to wiping out foreign influences in China at the turn of the 20th century. Vibiana, on the other side of the divide, sheds her Chinese name and her constrained home life to join a Christian missionary group after her family rejects her. Both must wrestle with questions of faith and identity: What does it mean to be Chinese? To be Christian? Can you be both? Read an excerpt In an email interview, Yang says his Catholic upbringing inspired his interest in the Boxer Rebellion. "In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized 120 saints of China, 87 of whom were ethnically Chinese. My home church was incredibly excited, because this was the first time the Roman Catholic Church acknowledged Chinese citizens in this way," he says. "When I looked into the lives of the newly canonized, I learned that many of them were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion. And when I looked to the world outside my Chinese American Catholic community, I realized that the canonizations were controversial. Shortly after the Vatican's announcement, the Chinese government issued a statement of protest. From their point of view, the Catholic Church was honoring traitors to Chinese culture." This is a work deeply concerned with compassion — it draws parallels between Jesus and Guan Yin, and on a more personal level almost everyone in it is complex and hard to dislike. Little Bao, for example, is really a fanatic, but you give him depth and a believable inner struggle. Early on in my research, I was struck by the parallels between the Boxer Rebellion and current events. The Boxers have a lot in common with many of today's extremist movements in the Middle East. Little Bao would probably be labeled a terrorist if he were real and alive today. I tried to make him understandable, but not justified. The Boxers were defending a culture under attack. Yet — within my story, at least — their view of their own culture was incomplete. There is this strand of compassion that runs through every world culture. It's embodied by Guan Yin within Eastern stories, and Christ within Western ones. This book is also concerned with identity and sense of self – which is a recurring theme in your work, and this time you're addressing the role religion plays in identity. Religion and culture are two important ways in which we as humans find our identity. That's certainly true for me. My experiences growing up in both a Chinese American household and the Catholic Church define much of who I am. A college writing professor once told me to write my life. Cliched advice, but still really helpful. I've tried to write from my own understanding of identity in all my comics, whether it's about superheroes or historical conflicts or monkey gods. Gene Yang's 2006 debut, American Born Chinese, was a National Book Award Finalist. First Second Gene Yang's 2006 debut, American Born Chinese, was a National Book Award Finalist. First Second Boxers & Saints is a wrenching read — having finished it, I feel like the only reason it's in the YA category is that it features teen characters. How did you approach the story when you were writing it? Who's it for? My main goal with all my comics is to tell a story compelling enough to get the reader from the first page to the last. I don't think about age demographics all that much during my process. The age demographics get figured out later. That said, I think my graphic novels fit pretty well in the YA category. Author Marsha Qualey says that an equation lies at the heart of all YA: Power + Belonging = Identity. That describes my stories, including Boxers & Saints. My characters long for power and belonging because they're figuring out their place in the world, their identities. You've chosen to publish this as two separate volumes, even though the stories are intertwined. I outlined both books together, but then I wrote and drew Boxers first, then Saints. I did them as two separate books because I wanted each to stand on their own, to have a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. Each would represent a complete, cohesive worldview. I had expected First Second Books to put out one book and then the other in two separate seasons. It was my editor Mark Siegel who suggested the simultaneous release. That guy is super-smart. What do you want readers to take away from Boxers & Saints? I hope readers are inspired to look into the actual historical event. The Boxer Rebellion doesn't get all that much attention on this side of the Pacific, but it still resonates in modern China. The Boxer Rebellion, and all the events of China's Century of Humiliation, still weighs heavily on their foreign policy. As China grows economically, as China and America's relationship evolves, events like the Boxer Rebellion will gain importance in Western history classes. I also hope the books encourage readers to look at both sides of every conflict. The Internet age has brought about a blossoming of exaggerated righteous indignation. I've certainly been guilty of it. Maybe some of that will dissipate if we learn to look at both sides with compassion.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/10/22/234824741/boxers-saints-compassion-quesions-for-gene-luen-yang?ft=1&f=1032