Book Reviews

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Most of us think that our consumer decisions; the deodorant we use, the shoes we wear, the car we drive, are based on logic and reason.  Martin Lindstrom, a highly successful consumer product marketing consultant, disagrees. 

Blood, Bones, & Butter

January 20-29 is Restaurant Week in Kansas City, a time when area foodies line up to taste off-menu offerings at dozens of local eateries. We’ve rounded up recent culinary memoirs that have arrived at a Kansas City Public Library near you.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices Into Fearless Home Cooks
Kathleen Flinn
After persuading a stranger in a grocery store to swap her cartful of ultra-processed foods for fresher stuff, recent Le Cordon Bleu grad Kathleen Flinn began a crusade to teach nine women from different backgrounds the basics of simple, healthy cooking. The reality-TV-esque narrative interweaves 20 recipes.

Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick

World events can trigger curiosity on a particular subject. With the recent death of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, a well-written book on the country is timely.

In Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, Barbara Demick provides a rare book into this closed, repressive society through several citizens who left the austere conditions of the country. The author weaves the nation’s history into the stories of the individuals she profiles, who are all defectors from North Korea.

The narrative focuses on the controlled existence that North Koreans endure, in which their daily lives center on their work sites, people are expected to report suspicious activity of their neighbors, and citizens are kept in the dark about advances in other countries as they are taught that nations such as South Korea and the United States cannot be trusted.

Odyssey by Homer

For all of human existence, at least since humans gained language, stories have been a part of our world and they affect our perception of the world around us. In many ways, the Odyssey is Homer’s portfolio, a defense and a demonstration of the art of telling stories.

Comfort Food Fix book cover

The holidays are over, and you’ve just made a serious New Year’s resolution to eat healthier. You don’t really want to sacrifice flavor or give up all of your high-calorie favorites, so what’s the answer? Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy by Ellie Krieger.