The Art of Simple Food

The success of the food revolution started by Alice Waters can be measured in the fact that, more than three decades later, its tenets feel downright remedial. Eat locally and sustainably! Shop at farmer's markets! Plant a garden! Waters has become the Shakespeare of modern food writers, her truth so assimilated into gospel that it's easy to forget the voice others imitate. Here, she's brilliantly back to basics: discussing essential cooking supplies (buy a mortar and pestle), defining terms in a glossary , and distilling her principles into artful, often everyday recipes. Many of these are as simple as plunking down a plate of fresh veggies with some aioli or vinaigrette. Others, like a classic boiled dinner, would require days of uninterrupted devotion to prepare. None would do without access to the freshest and most pristine ingredients -- still not a given for many. But Waters has done more than anyone else to ensure that access for the largest number of eaters, regardless of age, income, or geographic location; she's earned the right to proselytize and be heard. --

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

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The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.