As a kid, I loved to take the bus down Georgia Avenue and then walk. There was a tiny used-book store where I could look at books by black authors. I could see what photographs were in the windows of Scurlock studios. It was considered a dangerous area, but during the day it was full of life. I rode through there after the riots in 1968 and saw smoke still smoldering in many of the shop fronts. U Street was the cultural heart of the city. For blacks the restaurants and theaters served up the cream of black entertainers and sports figures: Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, the great jazz and blues stars. Ball players like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson could leave nearby Griffith Stadium and head out to U Street to celebrate. In WASHINGTON’S U STREET (Johns Hopkins Univ., $29.95), Blair A. Ruble takes us back to the days before Jim Crow, when U street was a mixed community, then looks at the post-Jim Crow era, when it was central to black cultural and social life, and moves on to today, and its spectacular revitalization.

Washington's U Street: A Biography Cover Image
ISBN: 9780801898006
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Johns Hopkins University Press - October 20th, 2010

Washington's U Street: A Biography Cover Image
ISBN: 9781421405940
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Johns Hopkins University Press - January 15th, 2012

Diana Kennedy is to Mexican food what Julia Child was to French cooking. For over 50 years, she has championed this cuisine through her many cookbooks, especially The Art of Mexican Cooking. In her exquisite new OAXACA AL GUSTO (Univ. of Texas, $50), she focuses on Oaxaca, learning recipes from local home cooks, then teaching you how dishes are prepared on the coast, as opposed to those in the La Esperanza area. Kennedy credits the cooks who supplied the recipes, and includes her observations about the region, the local ingredients, and the recipes. The book is full of beautiful photographs of the food and the landscape. This is a perfect gift for lovers of cooking and readers wanting to know more about this wonderful cuisine.

Oaxaca Al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy (William & Bettye Nowlin Series in Art) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780292722668
Availability: Backordered
Published: University of Texas Press - September 15th, 2010

Celebrity chefs are getting to be like mystery writers: a new book every year. Bobby Flay, the popular restaurateur and TV personality, presents recipes from his show in BOBBY FLAY’S THROWDOWN (Clarkson Potter, $27.50). Operating from the premise that there’s always a cook out there ready to accept a challenge from Flay and his trusty assistants, Flay creates his recipes and takes them into enemy territory. Local supporters crowd the arena, sampling goodies from Flay and the hometown favorite. A panel of local judges makes the final decision. The book contains more than 100 recipes from various challenges.

Bobby Flay's Throwdown!: More Than 100 Recipes from Food Network's Ultimate Cooking Challenge: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307719164
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 12th, 2010