Take to the Kitchen, Italy, or the California Coast
Eat like you care, explore your roots, and go on a road trip.
Thug Kitchen, The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (Rodale Press, 2014, $24.99, 240 pp., $24.99)
Talk about a book with attitude. This one, like the popular website of the same name that it’s based on, is full of spunk, complete with a hefty dose of four-letter words to give an edgy immediacy to the advice and recipes throughout. But do not let the curse words be put off; slog through the shits, goddams, motherfuckers, and assholes as well as the bold graphic type and neon-bright photos to pick up pantry staples, basic cooking fundamentals, and straightforward recipes. Salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, snacks, burritos and bowls, and desserts are all touched on here, and every section contains a “Dropping Knowledge” bit, which takes up something you’ve probably wondered about, like the real definition of organic or the underlying truth about sweeteners.
Italy, the Embracing Circle: Il Circolo, My Past, My Future, by Donna Marie Ferro (Exlibris LLC, 2014, 278 pp., $15.95)
Oakland-born Donna Marie Ferro in her book tells the story of her parents, Alamedan-bred Carlo Ferro and Rose Bertuccio, and their Italian immigrant parents—Antonia Ferro, Antoinetta Rusca, Edoardo Bertuccio, and Maria Vellegro—and their literal and figurative journey from Liguria. An all-American Berkelyite, the author travels to the ancestral homeland with little curiosity evident about her roots until her life becomes intertwined with the charming customs and habits of her Ligurian cousins, aunts, and uncles as they introduce her to the old country and its foreign ways. The book is complete with a travel checklist, the family tree, plus a brief translation guide and glossary.
California Coastal Access Guide, Seventh Edition, by the California Coastal Commission (University of California Press, 2014, $34.95, 416 pp.)
You can travel the 1,271-mile coast of California, stopping in at more than 1,550 points of public access without even leaving your home. This guide explores the Golden State from north to south, allowing wannabe travelers to go from the dunes and beaches of Del Norte County, through the wildflowers and rock formations of Sonoma County, and into the marinas and parks of San Diego County. Stroll the California Coastal Trail, climb to the top of a lighthouse, and learn to kayak off a state beach. A handsome book with colorful photos, handy charts, and easy-to-read maps, this edition should have a permanent spot on your bedside bookstand for quick plotting of your next outdoor California adventure.