Lit

Tasty reads

Blue Bottle, SPQR, Foraged Flavor....: Fresh new cookbooks to spice up your repertoire

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virginia@sfbg.com

LIT A harvest of cookbooks, some set for release in the fall, some ready for your shelf, cupboard, or bar hot off the press.

THE BLUE BOTTLE CRAFT OF COFFEE: GROWING, ROASTING, AND DRINKING, WITH RECIPES

By James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan

Ten Speed Press

240 pp, paper $24.95Read more »

Pagoda madness

A native son counters the myths of Chinatown in a new book

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culture@sfbg.com

LIT Either I'm terrible at parking or Philip P. Choy was exactly the right person to author his recently-released San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture (City Lights Publishers, 184pp, $15.95). We find a spot for my car in a well-hidden lot, tucked into an alleyway behind the Chinese Historical Society of America. It's the first sign of the day that Choy's knowledge of the area goes beyond tea shops and Peking duck.Read more »

Beyond the Pink

1980s teen movie star Molly Ringwald finds new success as an acclaimed author -- but can she still put lipstick on with her cleavage? 

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marke@sfbg.com

LIT Molly Ringwald is 44, fabulous, and living a dream life in Santa Monica with her gorgeous husband and three daughters. She's also far from shy when it comes to talking about her storied past as an 1980s movie legend, the red-headed dream girl of choice for a generation of disaffected teens.Read more »

Appetite: Delicious new cuisine and cocktail reads

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Fermentation and distillation, hot plats and sugar cones, sweet creams and brokeasses ... These eight books were released this spring, and are among the best of what has landed on my desk this year:

TRADITIONAL DISTILLATION: ART AND PASSION
by Huber Germain-Robin

Anyone who knows US craft distilling knows Hubert Germain-Robin, one of the pioneers in the American craft distilling movement. He was making world class, French-style brandies (he is French, after all) since the early ’80s right here in Northern California at Germain-Robin, which he co-founded, an example to generations after him of what true, elegant brandies should be. As he states in the introduction, "When I came to California in 1981, I realized the unbelievable potential of the New World, with such diversity in grape varietals, microclimates, and less demanding restrictions than there are in France."

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8 cultural happenings this week in the big, best, beautiful Bay

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It is inevitable after reading today's Best of the Bay 2012 issue that your heart will be swole with pride for our beautiful Bay Area By the Bay. Seize the moment! There are a plethora of arts and culture happenings this week that are perfect examples of -- as our managing editor Marke B. put it in his intro to BOB -- "the sheer gorgeousness, thriving alternative culture, and promise of freedom and acceptance that are unique to our shores." Cheers! Read more »

Free Shamu! 'Death at SeaWorld' event tomorrow

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Just a reminder that Wed/25 is the date for author David Kirby's local event to promote his new book, Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity. Check out my interview with Kirby in the July 11 Guardian here; his website features updates on SeaWorld's battle with OSHA over allowing trainers to enter the water with killer whales after the much-publicized death of a trainer.

But there's more, Kirby told me when we spoke:

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Celebrate a book about DJs at a bar that is in said book

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A rather strange-looking book alit upon my desk the other day. It told me it would teach me how to fold underwear. It lied. Luckily, the book did contain a rather amusing little cat-and-mouse story about a cute SF DJ traversing Hong Kong and surrounds in the exuberant days of the late 1990s. This is local author Steven Fruhmoto's Underwear Origami -- a misleading title if ere I've heard one. Nonetheless, Mr. Read more »

Noir to nerds: 8 artsy-cultural happenings you could check out this week

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Remember the time you lived in one of the most exciting, cultured places in the world? Hold up, that's right now. Check our picks for 8 amazing -- and oftentimes free -- ways to spend your nights and days this week.

Jim Nisbet: Old and Cold

Jim Nisbet's protagonist is old, cold, and totally cool. A confusing infusion of mystery, Dexter-style serial murder, and flat-out noir creepiness, Nisbet's Old and Cold follows the wrongdoings of a man who lives under a bridge and will do anything for a martini. All the action is enveloped within our dear city's seven miles of dive bars, beaches, and grey sidewalk. Read more »

7 ways to revive your sunburned brain this week

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Dead set on frying your brain in this sunshine? Fine. Just hit up one of your city's affordable cultural happenings afterwards and your gray matter will have no choice but to call it a draw. 

Epicenter reading series 

Sip on some of Cafe Tosca's famous non-coffee cappuccino (brandy and hot chocolate, what could be better?) and listen to three members of the contemporary literati. Along with San Francisco-native Josh Mohr, the program will include Joe Meno reading from Office Girl, his new fiction work of artistic detachment and big city love, plus Nathan Larson's The Nervous System, a novel depicting a terrorist-induced dystopia in the walls of the New York Public Library, starring a protagonist dubbed Dewey Decimal. Read more »

The Performant: All you can eat

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Wild Food Walks and Bal Littéraire satisfy imaginative appetites.

“First, the bad news,” says our guide and frequent forager Kevin Feinstein. “Foraging in the Bay Area is illegal.”

Well, swell, I guess it’s a good thing that I packed snacks. “If the land is private, and you have permission from the owners, you can forage,” Feinstein amends, which still doesn’t help me in planning my lunch, but good to know for future reference. I’m attending one of ForageSF’s “Wild Food Walks,” along with about 15 others, hoping to graze upon that freest of foodstuffs, the weeds in our backyards -- and yours.

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