I really like Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks — and not just because there is usually a strong focus on the dessert part of the meal, though that does not hurt her cause! Her latest effort, subtitled “The Way I Cook,” does not stint on tasty chocolatey treats, but it also deals elegantly with the other courses. And she balances the just right amount of storytelling with excellent instructions. “Everyday Dorie” is a dream compendium of meal ideas that are both sophisticated (in taste) and straightforward (in execution).
— Alexis Akre, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
Word’s picks: “The Corrections,” by Jonathan Franzen
It is easy to forget this, but “The Corrections” is — among many other things — a Christmas story. Harrowing and deeply astringent, it nonetheless captures, with piercing accuracy, the feeling of returning from the big city to a small hometown for the holidays.
— Mike Lindgren, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo
Community Bookstore’s pick: “Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants,” by Mathias Enard
Enard’s latest novel is a dreamlike evocation of 16th-century Turkey. A historical fiction that is full of strange inventions, it follows the artist Michelangelo as he is lured away from Rome and the Pope to Constantinople. While designing a bridge for the Sultan Bayezid, Michelangelo whiles away his hours in an uncanny reverie — a state you will also find yourself in while reading this charming novel.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun