COMING TO MY SENSES: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, by Alice Waters with Cristina Mueller and Bob Carrau. (Clarkson Potter, $27.) The founder of Chez Panisse describes her early days, explaining how a visit to France awakened her interest in excellent food and how she came to embrace the use of organic ingredients. She’s had so much to say about how we ought to eat that it’s been easy to assume she had a master plan. In fact, her path was meandering and oblique; she found her own route to the things that make her happy.
FASTING AND FEASTING: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray, by Adam Federman. (Chelsea Green, $25.) Federman’s biography is the first of a cult food writer who became famous with the 1986 publication of her influential book “Honey From a Weed.” Each dish in that book is inextricably from its time and place, reflecting Gray’s commitment to the hard work of living (and cooking) harmoniously with her environment, in a landscape untouched by the corrosive aspects of modern life.
THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1898, by Richard White. (Oxford, $35.) This sweeping history of the decades after the Civil War decries the spoliations White sees everywhere among robber barons and corrupt politicians. The age was cynical, but White’s book is not: He also pays attention to the striving middle- and working-class Americans of neighborhoods, churches and trade unions, who in mostly unsung ways expanded the public good.
THE INTERNATIONALISTS: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World, by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) The two authors argue for the historic importance of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, an international agreement usually dismissed by historians as ineffectual and quixotic. In their revisionist view, the pact “reshaped the world map,” “catalyzed the human rights revolution” and ultimately helps explain the decline of cross-border conflict between internationally recognized states over the last 70 years.
RESET: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, by Ellen K. Pao. (Spiegel & Grau, $28.) Combining memoir, self-help, tell-all and manifesto, Pao recalls the disillusionment that led her to sue a Silicon Valley venture capital firm for gender discrimination. She lost, but her case showed the hurdles women still face in many fields, and in her book she articulates the very fine line professional women in male-dominated fields will at some point most likely find themselves treading: “Is it possible that I am really too ambitious while being too quiet while being too aggressive while being unlikable?”
THE MISFORTUNE OF MARION PALM, by Emily Culliton. (Knopf, $25.95.) In Culliton’s delightful and sneakily feminist debut novel, a Brooklyn mother is on the lam after embezzling thousands of dollars from her daughters’ private school. Marion is one of a parade of recent literary antiheroines — Bernadette Fox (“Where’d You Go, Bernadette”), Amy Dunne (“Gone Girl”), Lena and Lila in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series — who are casting about, sometimes wildly, for ways to reinvent what it means to be a woman in the world.
BONES: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream, by Joe Tone. (One World, $28.) A reporter brilliantly recounts the tale of a Texas bricklayer who laundered drug money for his brother, a cartel boss in Mexico, via the horse-racing industry. In addition to following the drug money, Tone makes the most of a great yarn, digging deep into the colorful world of quarter-horse racing among other subcultures.
Source: New York Times