Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine

Bryant Terry's collard greens are lightly braised and tossed with raisins and citrus; his okra lightly crisped and served with a lime-thyme vinaigrette; his sweet tea is sweetened with fresh-squeezed orange juice and agave nectar (the latter also sweetens a strawberry pop, herb infused limeades and a ginger-hibiscus cocktail inspired by his favorite Senegalese restaurant in Brooklyn). He offers three versions of Hoppin' John and, for the record, I'm still making the Black-Eyed Pea and Peanut fritters from his first book, Grub. "Think Alice Waters meets Melvin Van Peeples," writes Terry, of his own cooking style, which connects the dots between the fresh food his grandparents grew in their South Memphis kitchen garden, African-American soul food and recipes for local, seasonal food he has made as an adult in Brooklyn and Oakland urban kitchens. Recipes are paired with suggested soundtracks: Garlic broth makes him think of Etta James; sweet corn broth conjures TV on the Radio; and Strawberry and Slightly Hot Pepper Jam goes best with Run-DMC. Not only does Terry provide six recipes for using each part of a fresh watermelon -- whole slices with basil sea salt, a martini, a vinaigrette, a sorbet, and spiced pickle rinds -- he also suggests a couple films about the "stereotypes associated with black folks eating watermelon." And his California-Applejack Toddy is inspired by Fred Sanford's favorite drink, accompanied, of course, by the DVD box set of "Sanford and Son" along with the book Revolution Televised by Christine Acham. Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian -- you could serve an entire family of meat eaters on his food and they'd ask for more.

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Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).