Thanksgiving (Williams-Sonoma) Michael McLaughlin Chuck Williams Noel Barnhurst  
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Williams-Sonoma, purveyor of choice gourmet products and kitchenware, has also created a collection of succinct yet comprehensive cookbooks. Part of the series, Thanksgivingoffers 40 recipes that reflect the company's signature good taste. From traditional and "new" holiday starters like Butternut Squash Soup and Mixed Greens with Bacon-Wrapped Figs to desserts including Creamy Pumpkin Pie and Ginger-Pear Torte, the book offers delicious options for a hearty, homemade feast. Main-course birds, dressings, breads, and other accompaniments are represented with the likes of classic roast turkey and Hickory-Smoked Roast Turkey with Horseradish-Apple Sauce; Cornbread Dressing with Oysters and Ham; and Cranberry Sauce with Cider and Vinegar, while a chapter entirely devoted to potatoes provides exemplary "mashed" formulas as well as Candied Yams and a knockout Two-Potato Gratin with Cheese.

Accompanied by color photos that show the dishes in all their glory, the recipes are completely doable, and will appeal to a wide range of cooks. Throughout, sidebars (like "Biscuit Savvy") offer useful information on techniques and ingredients; a glossary and basics section are also helpful. Though small in size, the book provides an inclusive store of superior recipes and instruction. —Arthur Boehm

Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World Naomi S. Baron  
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In Always On, Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies—including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebook, blogs, and wikis—are profoundly influencing how we read and write, speak and listen, but not in the ways we might suppose.

Baron draws on a decade of research to provide an eye-opening look at language in an online and mobile world. She reveals for instance that email, IM, and text messaging have had surprisingly little impact on student writing. Electronic media has magnified the laid-back "whatever" attitude toward

formal writing that young people everywhere have embraced, but it is not a cause of it. A more troubling trend, according to Baron, is the myriad ways in which we block incoming IMs, camouflage ourselves on Facebook, and use ring tones or caller ID to screen incoming calls on our mobile phones. Our

ability to decide who to talk to, she argues, is likely to be among the most lasting influences that information technology has upon the ways we communicate with one another. Moreover, as more and more people are "always on" one technology or another—whether communicating, working, or just surfing

the web or playing games—we have to ask what kind of people do we become, as individuals and as family members or friends, if the relationships we form must increasingly compete for our attention with digital media?

Our 300-year-old written culture is on the verge of redefinition, Baron notes. It's up to us to determine how and when we use language technologies, and to weigh the personal and social benefits—and costs—of being "always on." This engaging and lucidly-crafted book gives us the tools for taking on

these challenges.

Risotto Risotti Judith Barrett  
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Following up on her successful Risotto, Judith Barrett takes us on a further adventure, featuring rice prepared in more than 100 ways in Risotto, Risotti. She provides six methods for preparing this traditionally northern Italian pasta, going beyond the classic "add broth and stir" method, to include the microwave and the pressure cooker. Wildly eclectic dishes include Fiddlehead Ferns and Gruyere Cheese Risotto, and Risotto with Catfish. (Italianate recipes like Mediterranean Fish Risotto with Saffron seem more appealing.) A dozen low fat recipes and "risotti" made with other grains or using vegetables in place of rice, plus dessert recipes make this a trendy book.

The Best American Comics 2008 Lynda Barry  
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This newest addition to the Best American Series returns with a set of both
established and up-and-coming contributors. Editor Lynda Barry and
brand-new series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, acclaimed cartoonists in their own right, culled the best stories from graphic novels,
pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, mini-comics, and the web to
create this cutting-edge collection, "perfect for newbies as well as fans"
(San Diego Union-Tribune). This volume features such luminaries as
Chris Ware, Seth, and Alison Bechdel alongside beloved daily cartoonists
like Matt Groening.

Chimera John Barth  
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Italian Grill Mario Batali, Judith Sutton  
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Italian Grill By Mario Batali, Judith Sutton"From Mario Batali, superstar chef and author of Molto Italiano, comes the ultimate handbook on Italian grilling, which will become an instant must-have cookbook for home grillers."Easy to use and filled with si