The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office
By David Blumenthal and James A. Morone (Univ. of California Press, $27)
Blumenthal and Morone plumb presidential biographies from FDR onward to divine the forces and factors (including heart attacks, abusive parents, and deceased siblings) that shaped their attitudes toward crafting national health policy. More than an excellent primer on American health policy, this is a thorough look at the presidency as an institution and the men who have stamped their personalities on the office. Read an interview with author James A. Morone.
Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future
By Barbara L. Berg (Lawrence Hill Books/IPG, $24.95)
Sexism hasn't gone away, argues journalist-activist Berg, it has simply adapted to our changing culture. In a smart analysis of popular mores, Berg contends that young women today are being encouraged to imitate Girls Gone Wild rather than to focus on activism, careers, and the reproductive rights their mothers fought so hard to achieve.
Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend
By Irene S. Levine (Overlook, $21.95)
Though popular culture pays lip service to the power of women's friendships, rarely does it acknowledge the great pain felt when such a bond is broken. Psychologist Levine surveys the grieving process that women experience when a close alliance collapses. She also counsels us how to revive a troubled friendship—and how to know when it's time to let it go.
Gourmet Today: More Than 1,000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen
Edited by Ruth Reichl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40)
In this follow-up toThe Gourmet Cookbook, editor Reichl compiles one of the most comprehensive cooking resources available. She offers a diverse range of recipes that reflect the ever-changing American palate. Appetizing, and thoroughly tested, this mammoth collection is the book no kitchen should be without (especially at this stage of life—when, theoretically, we finally have time to cook!).
Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
By Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali (Knopf, $35)
Bastianich—acclaimed restaurateur, PBS cooking-show star, author of Lidia's Italy and other cookbooks—teams with her daughter to offer a stellar array of regional Italian recipes in this tantalizing, lavishly photographed collection. They serve up authentic, hearty fare, including such favorites as wedding soup, braised veal shanks, and spaghetti with clam sauce. And if you've cooked enough meals to last a lifetime, use the book as a vicarious travel experience, flipping the pages to soak up culture and cuisine.
The Cancer Prevention Diet: The Macrobiotic Approach to Preventing and Relieving Cancer
By Michio Kushi and Alex Jack (St. Martin's/Griffin, paperback, $22.99)
First published 25 years ago, this guidebook has been revised and updated with current statistics and research, yet it still presents the core traditions of the macrobiotic way of life. The art of balancing yin and yang carries more weight than ever in the 21st century—a time when it has become much easier to combine alternative and mainstream approaches to healthy living.
Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author ofThe Vegetarian Epicure
By Anna Thomas (Norton, $22.95)
That title… that kitschy cover, with its hand-drawn lettering… and all those vegetarian recipes! These elements make it hard to fend off the blandly healthy vibe of the 1970s, but Thomas (ofVegetarian Epicure cookbooks fame) presents new and enticing recipes that may win over even die-hard carnivores. If nothing else, they'll evoke the days when steak was not in your budget.