The Southern Bookseller Review: The Harvest Issue

The Southern Bookseller Review: A Good Harvest, August, 2022

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August, 2022

A Good Harvest

A book is a banquet

When the food writer and historian Michael W. Twitty recently spoke to independent booksellers about his new book, Koshersoul, he started off by saying, "I am reminded that a big part of this is about how we tell stories…Food sets the table for conversation."

Food and story are inextricably linked. Food is tied up in memory, memory is the fertile ground of story. A recipe is not simply a set of instructions. It is, as Aleksandra Crapanzano says below, one of the things you learned as a child that is still part of you as an adult.

This special edition of The Southern Bookseller Review celebrates the harvest and the table, and all the stories they hold.

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably” -C. S. Lewis

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

In praise of the stories that transport us

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook by Brian Noyes


The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook by Brian Noyes
Clarkson Potter / August 2022

I have always been interested in cookbooks—the recipes, the notes, the tips, I enjoy them all. To say I enjoyed The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook would be an understatement. I was captured by the forward and could not wait to explore the heart of the book. I’ll address the recipes: I did not see any that were not intriguing. The attention to the ingredients and why they matter is well explained and designed. The heart of the book is the love and energy for cooking and feeding that shines through in Brian Noyes’s words about the particular recipe. How it came to be, the historical twist, who it was created for, and happy accidents (like the chili for the neighbor’s chili cookout). I felt like I was in the room listening to him talk and create, and oh how I wish that were so. Buy this as a gift for someone special, and get an extra copy for yourself to ensure the gift actually makes it out of your hands!

Reviewed by Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Brian Noyes

About the Author:
Brian Noyes is the founder of the Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia, and the author of the Red Truck Bakery Cookbook. Brian trained at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, at King Arthur Baking in Norwich, Vermont, and at L’Academie de Cuisine near Washington, D.C. While he was the art director at The Washington Post and Smithsonian magazines, Brian baked pies and breads on weekends in his Virginia Piedmont farmhouse and sold them out of an old red truck he bought from designer Tommy Hilfiger. The bakery now has two destination locations in historic buildings, ships thousands of baked goods nationwide, and has earned accolades from Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and many national publications. Brian is an advisor to the Jacques Pépin Foundation and a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the James Beard Foundation. He has written for The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Preservation, Taste of the South, The Local Palate, and Garden & Gun.

The Cake Collection by Brian Hart Hoffman


The Cake Collection by Brian Hart Hoffman
83 Press / August 2022

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Blueberry Muffin Loaf

Blueberry Muffin Loaf
Makes 1 (9×5 inch) cake

This cake represents my blueberry muffin dreams made real. This cake was designed to be so dense with blueberries that it almost falls apart when sliced. One bite into it and you’ll realize that muffin life is the best life.

2 cups (308 grams) small fresh blueberries (see Note)
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (133 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (73 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
2 teaspoons (4 grams) packed lemon zest
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Spray a light metal 9×5-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.

2. In a small bowl, crush 3/4 cup (120 grams) blueberries, and combine with remaining 1 1/4 cups (188 grams) blueberries.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

4. In another large bowl, combine 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and lemon zest. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until a few streaks of flour remain after each addition. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into prepared pan, spreading into an even layer. Using a knife or offset spatula, draw 3 X’s in top of batter. Sprinkle top with remaining 2 tablespoons (24 grams) sugar.

5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating pan after 40 minutes of baking. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: This recipe will work wonderfully with any size blueberry. Small blueberries, however, tend to provide the best berry dispersion per slice.

Brian Hart Hoffman

About the Author:
Brian Hart Hoffman, president and chief creative officer of Hoffman Media, oversees the editorial planning and brand direction for all publications and books. Brian has been the driving force behind the launch of The Cottage JournalBake from ScratchSouthern Cast IronSouthern Home magazines. He is the editor of all volumes of Bake from Scratch: Artisan Recipes for the Home Baker as well as The Bread CollectionThe Pie and Tart Collection and The Coupe: Celebrating Craft Cocktails and Vintage Collections. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano


Aleksandra Crapanzano

My Parisian friends, who are really busy and come home and want to whip up something…they think of baking in much the same way they think of fashion. The reality is, if you own one or two great scarves, and you really know how to tie them well, you can dress up anything.

That is actually really true of their approach to cooking. The recipes the French make, that are learned usually when you are a child, they become part of your comfort zone. And once you have these back pocket recipes, popping a cake into the oven becomes something infused with ease. And I will say, the French really do like to end every meal with something sweet. Dessert is not an option, it is an essential part of dinner.” –Aleksandra Crapanzano, Cooking with Mark and Bruce podcast

Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes

What booksellers are saying about Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes

  • Whimsical illustrations and simple instructions! I loved the stories leading into each recipe. I’m ready to conquer the French cake! ―Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina
    Buy from Main Street Books

  • I am head over heels for this gorgeous cookbook! The art is scrumptious and the recipes are approachable and delicious. The perfect gift for a loved one or for yourself!.
      ―Mary Louise Callaghan from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • More than a thorough treatise on the subject of Gallic cake-making, this charming and chatty book captures the lifestyle of the French people who enjoy these delicious baked goods. The recipes are detailed without being fussy, and for the most basic cakes, the author includes dozens of delicious variations.  ―Anne Peck from Righton Books in St. Simons Island, Georgia
    Buy from Righton Books

About Aleksandra Crapanzano

Aleksandra Crapanzano is a James Beard–winning writer and dessert columnist for The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of The London Cookbook and Eat. Cook. LA., and her work has been widely anthologized, most notably in Best American Food Writing. She has been a frequent contributor to Bon AppetitFood & WineFood52SaveurTown & CountryElleThe Daily BeastDeparturesTravel + Leisure, and The New York Times Magazine. She has years of experience in the film world, consults in the food space, and serves on several boards with a focus on sustainability. Aleksandra grew up in New York and Paris, received her BA from Harvard and her MFA from NYU, where she has also taught writing. She is married to the writer John Burnham Schwartz, and they live in New York with their son, Garrick, and Bouvier des Flandres, Griffin.

Koshersoul by Michael W. Twitty


Koshersoul by Michael W. Twitty
Amistad / July 2022


Black Eyed-Peas with Tomatoes, Sephardic Style
6-8 servings (4 cups)

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Marcie Cohen Ferris’s Matzoh Ball Gumbo included in the Congregation Or Ve Shalom’s sisterhood’s synagogue cookbook, The Sephardic Cooks.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or Kitchen Pepper (see recipe in book)
1 teaspoon ras-al-hanout
1 15-ounce can kosher black-eyed peas
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato, thyme or oregano, salt, pepper, and ras-al-hanout and cook, stirring often, until the tomato starts to soften, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the black-eyed peas and vegetable stock; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning, if necessary. Serve the peas hot or warm.

Michael W. Twitty

About the Author:
Michael W. Twitty is the author of The Cooking Gene, winner of the James Beard Foundation Book of the Year Award. He is a highly sought after speaker and consultant at food events (Colonial Williamsburg) and festivals, and a member of two Jewish speaker’s bureaus. He has appeared on programs with Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods America), Henry Louis Gates (Many Rivers to Cross), Padma Lakshmi (Taste the Nation) and most recently on Michelle Obama’s Waffles and Mochi. He is a TED Fellow and was just named as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Michael has also filmed his first MasterClass course which is slated to premiere in November 2021. In 2020, Michael was on The Forward‘s 2020 list of influential American Jews. Over the past year he has partnered with Atlas Obscura to teach multiple online seminars and was the first guest on a new web series for their food division, Gastro Obscura. Michael will also be a Consulting Producer on both a new food competition program coming soon from OWN, and Carla Hall’s new Foodways show. His line of personal spice blends with the boutique supplier Spice Tribe regularly sells out. Michael lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia..

Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford


Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford with JJ Goode
Ten Speed Press / June 2022

Mason Hereford’s fun-loving personality is fully on display in this compilation of very accessible recipes from his New Orleans “sandwich joint.” Inspired by his childhood in rural Virginia as well as his new home in New Orleans, Hereford applies his irreverent attitude as frequently as he uses garnishes from the convenience store.

Reviewed by Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia

Mason Hereford

About the Author:
A native Virginian, Mason Hereford moved to New Orleans in 2008 and opened Turkey and the Wolf in 2016. Bon Appetít named it the best new restaurant in America. Food & Wine and GQ called it one of the most important restaurants of the decade, and Guy Fieri featured it on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

JJ Goode

JJ Goode has co-written many cookbooks, including the New York Times bestseller Pok Pok with Andy Ricker, the James Beard Award-nominated State Bird Provisions with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski,andtheJames Beard Award-winning Eat a Little Better with President Obama’s White House chef and senior policy advisor for nutrition policy, Sam Kass.

The Anime Chef Cookbook by Nadine Estero


The Anime Chef Cookbook by Nadine Estero
Rockpoint / September 2022

For anyone who has ever watched a Studio Ghibli film, and any genre of Anime, you will know that passion for food is one of the essentials of this art. For many of us, the response to the beautifully drawn dishes and the sense of awe and euphoria that over takes the characters is: HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS AMAZING FOOD?!?!?!? Well, thanks to Nadine Estero that question has finally been answered. The Anime Chef Cookbook is filled with delicious recipes that are easy to follow and created delicious dishes. In addition to the details of how to create these dishes, each recipe gives detailed information regarding which show or movie and episode that the recipe was inspired by. I highly recommend the After Practice Nikuman with its savory filling wrapped in the thin steamed dough, and the Ohagai rice balls with the chewy outer layer of glutinous rice and the rich creamy filling of bean paste.

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Nadine Estero

About the Author:
Nadine Estero (@issagrill) knew at the young age of 6 that anime was life. She dramatically cried and begged her mother to immediately stop her piano lessons  because it interfered with the airtime of her favorite anime—Dragon Ball Z. Today, Nadine is a food recreationist that shows her enthusiasm and process through her social media; she has 98.8k YouTube Subscribers, 130k TikTok Subscribers, and over 4.6M Likes. Her creations are recognized  worldwide in many  large entertainment  websites and publications such as ScreenRant, Dexerto, GaminqDebates, SVG, Kompas, and Speed Maqazine.

Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli


Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli
Viking Books for Young Readers / August 2022

Okay, here is the non-fiction picture book I’ve been craving… I mean, it’s Pizza! A Slice of History!  I can’t imagine any kid turning this one down for it’s subject matter alone, but topped with the vibrant illustrations of award-winning favorite, Greg Pizzoli? A real treat.

Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books and Books in Coral Gables, Florida

Greg Pizzoli

About the Author:
Greg Pizzoli is the creator of the Baloney and Friends series as well as a three-time Theodor Seuss Geisel Award recipient for The Watermelon Seed (Medal winner), The Book Hog (Honor book), and Good Night Owl (Honor book). He is also the author-illustrator of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Impossible True Story of Tricky Vic: The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower. He lives in Philadelphia, where he eats a lot of pizza.

Parting Thought

"We don’t lock up books in this house," Philippe said, "only food, ale, and wine. Reading Herodotus or Aquinas seldom leads to bad behavior."
― Deborah Harkness

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance /
Editor: Nicki Leone /
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett /
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

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