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Thanksgiving

Try Thanksgiving Dinner With a Literary Setting

in Pop Culture by

Thanksgiving is about a week away, which means it’s time to start buying those turkeys and getting out the nice china you keep in a box in the back of your closet. Planning for the big feast can be stressful—almost all energy goes into the food, while most people are lucky to even toss a tablecloth down before their relatives are diving into the mashed potatoes. Why not try something a little different this year? Literature-inspired table settings are a great way to make your decorations as impressive as your cranberry sauce. We guarantee that a Moby-Dick or Anne of Green Gables table will please all of your guests—even those picky in-laws. So here are five settings inspired by classic…

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Ruth Reichl: Audiobooks from a Gifted Food Writer

in AudioBooks by

As a run-up to the holidays, plug into food writer Ruth Reichl’s memoirs. We talk about MY KITCHEN YEAR: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, read by the author, in which she makes food sound decadent, luxurious, and a pleasure to be savored in both the preparation and the eating. In her earlier memoir GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES, narrator Bernadette Dunne takes Ruth’s role during her stint as the food critic for the New York Times when she often dined in disguise. Published by Penguin Random House Audio. Find full reviews of the audiobooks discussed on today’s episode and Ruth Reichl’s other audiobooks at audiofilemagazine.com  For free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter. On today’s episode are Jo Reed and AudioFile Magazine…

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Free Thanksgiving Day Reads from Kindle Unlimited

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Are you one of the many e-readers who has enlisted in Kindle Unlimited‘s service for your Kindle? If you didn’t already know, this awesome service is a way for you to access a wide variety of titles from the Kindle Store, many of them being free. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you may be looking for a new novel that will put you in a Thanksgiving mood with the upcoming holiday right around the corner! Luckily for you, we have suggestions for some awesome Thanksgiving-related novels that will surely give you something to look forward to: The Good Neighbor, Judith Hudson Frankie has a rich and overbearing father who she doesn’t see or speak to anymore, but that doesn’t stop…

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Books are the New Superheroes: Reading is the Antidote to Holiday Stress

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Barnes and Noble recently did an independent survey on reading habits, and it turns out that the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest reading day of the year! Many of us leaf through the pages of our favorite novels over the Thanksgiving holiday season to relax. Reading also makes traveling better, with over 75% of the American population finishing one book, magazine, or other literary publication over the holiday travels. If you thought reading couldn’t possibly get any better after all that, the survey also revealed that one-in-four Americans will bring along a book to avoid awkward family situations. We’ve all been there (let’s be honest here, folks), but admittedly, bringing along a book for that exact purpose might be a new…

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New Books About Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and President Obama in Time for Black Friday Shopping

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This is a big week for shopping and for books and so is our round-up of new releases! While you are making your shopping list (and checking it twice), here are some nice, naughty and feel good books to check out this weekend. Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency (Young Readers), Pete Souza Pete Souza, who served as the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama, was able to capture much more of Obama as a public figure. Now, in his new portrait book, Souza has compiled photographs specifically for young readers, showing Obama as a man who served as an inspiration to generations of people. Behind-the-scenes stories and photographs of the family are included as…

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Books About Wine to Feast on This Thanksgiving and Beyond

in Nonfiction by

You can keep your cranberries and candied yams. Everyone knows that turkey—and Uncle Bob’s stories—go best with a nice glass of wine. While everyone else is busy dressing their turkeys and mashing their potatoes, I’ll be on the hunt for the best wine to bring to the Thanksgiving Day table. While searching for some new ideas, I stumbled upon The Winerist where I found an article on the Top Six Wines to Serve for Thanksgiving and I was pleasantly surprised. The Winerist recommends keeping it simple and serving a sparkling wine before the meal and at least one red and one white wine during dinner. I’m all about starting things off with a celebratory note, so I’ll be adding a…

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A ‘Promise’ Fulfilled: How Joe Biden Found Purpose After Tragedy

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I have been looking forward to a number of new releases this month, including Jenifer Lewis’ The Mother of Black Hollywood (released Nov. 14) and Duane Tudahl’s Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984 (released Nov. 15).  As I set up my list of reads for the Thanksgiving holiday, the first of these on my list is the new book by Joe Biden (whom I affectionately call “Uncle Joe”), Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. Nearly a year after completing two terms in service to the country as Vice President for Barack Obama, Joe Biden is speaking about the last few years of his term in office marked by the pain of losing…

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Feldman’s Follow Up to ‘The Book of Jonah’ is Endearing and Darkly Comedic

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Known for his critically-acclaimed debut novel The Book of Jonah, author Joshua Max Feldman is back with another novel that promises to be every bit as engaging, intelligent and introspective as you think it will be. Start Without Me: A Novel does more than just analyze the family dynamics, and the gravity of the struggles and relationships of Feldman’s characters, it also perfectly displays the grip and mastery he has over his writing, creating an eloquent, captivating book. Adam, a former musician and recovering alcoholic, is going home for Thanksgiving for the first time in years. Surrounded by his parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews, Adam knows that he should feel comfortable, safe, and at home – but there’s still the ever-present…

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V is For Vegetables in Your Thanksgiving Side Dishes

in Nonfiction by

I have to admit, I came to vegetables relatively late in life. Oh, sure, while growing up, I ate them. But for the most part, they were the out-of-the-can, boiled-beyond-recognition variety. Even on Thanksgiving, we gave thanks for the vegetables on our table—but we gave extra thanks for the mashed potatoes and stuffing. In the years since I’ve discovered what surrounding the bird with delicious vegetable dishes can do for my health and my waistline. And I’m teaching my offspring, Mr. Picky and Miss Sweet Tooth, the joys of veggies. In fact, the sides have become the focus of our Thanksgiving feast. To help me out, this year I’m turning to Michael Anthony’s glorious new cookbook, V is for Vegetables:…

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Your Handy Guide to Thanksgiving Leftovers (Mark Bittman Style)

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It’s not Thanksgiving yet, but the leftovers situation is already anxiety-inducing. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be too hopped up on tryptophan to put any effort into turning your leftovers into new dishes. However, you’re in luck: Mark Bittman’s amazing cookbook Kitchen Matrix (which we LOVED) has fantastic and simple recipes, specifically for leftovers, to create fantastic post-Turkey Day meals. We pulled some of our favorites and created some recipe drawings for you to visually devour, so enjoy!

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5 Survival Tips to Get You Through Thanksgiving with Your Nosy Relatives

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means turkey, football and relatives who are w-a-y too nosy. Don’t get me wrong, family time is wonderful. We get to talk to cousins we haven’t seen in a year, see how big our nieces and nephews have grown and laugh about how silly we were when we were kids. But then there’s the times that you show up solo to dinner and the questions start. You know the ones I’m talking about: “Still no special someone?” asks your uncle. “Why aren’t you married yet? You’re so attractive,” suggests the aunt who has no filter. “Are you sure you’re not gay? Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” inquires Mom. And then there’s the grandparents…

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Forget Pie. You’ll Want to Make These Thanksgiving Alternatives from Violet Cakes Bakery

in Nonfiction by

This may sound like sacrilege, but on Thanksgiving I don’t do pie. That doesn’t mean we don’t have pie; a fantastic local farm kitchen fills that need, but I don’t bake pies. Ever. While I do terrific fillings, the alchemy that results in a tender, flaky crust has always eluded me. Instead, I prefer to tempt guests to save a little room with a dessert they don’t expect. To dazzle them, this year I’m turning to The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak (Ten Speed Press; September 29, 2015). One of the things I love about Ptak’s recipes is her emphasis on flavor over appearance and her judicious use of refined sugar and flour. Like everyone else, my family includes…

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You’ll Devour the Endless Possibilities in Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix

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We constantly receive beautiful cookbooks here at BookTrib, all of them filled with practical tips, luscious recipes and interesting anecdotes, their covers splashed with a Technicolor smorgasbord of dishes of every kind. But it’s not very often that we come across one that’s so highly coveted that we have to sign a joint-custody agreement. This is the case with Mark Bittman’s latest Kitchen Matrix: More Than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities (Pam Krauss Books; October 27, 2015). I’ve had this book in my possession for four days now and I’m waiting for the moment when my colleagues start begging to borrow it. For now though, I’m locked away with this culinary crowd pleaser in…

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Thanksgiving with a side of history — WIN these books!

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This Thanksgiving we’re going to skip the apocryphal tale of the Pilgrims and jump ahead to some tastier American culinary history. After all, a close examination of history tells us that the meal we’ve come to think of as “the first Thanksgiving” most likely included venison, not turkey, and probably geese and even lobster and mussels. However, by the time of the American Revolution turkey was a staple on American dinner tables. President John Adams was intrigued by the origin of the turkey and in 1779 speculated that “the French names [for the bird]…indicate that the fowl was imported from India.” In spite of this odd bit of deduction, there’s no doubt John and his wife, Abigail, enjoyed their turkey…

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The Mark Bittman way to a faster, and better, Thanksgiving feast

in Nonfiction by

In a year of rushed family dinners, one meal stands out: traditional, slow, and packed with family and memories— Thanksgiving. The feast is a favorite of many, but few cooks appreciate having to spend hours in the kitchen, when they really want to be sitting at the table. Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Fast (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) offers smart solutions to this annual predicament—and the nightly dilemma of how to produce a home-cooked dinner in a sliver of time—with more than 1,000 pages of simple recipes that take 45 minutes or less to make. As always, Bittman (who honed his culinary voice of reason through his “Minimalist” column in the New York Times and his 1998 classic How…

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