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Books on cooking, fiction, the environment, children

“French Beach Cooking School Cookbook,” by Marci Gauntlett

This batch of new books is as varied as you’d like to find in any browsing section of a shop. In non-fiction, you’ll find an expert on the Cape Cod environment with ideas on how we can all make a difference with the local land we love. Step into cookbooks, and there’s a collection of recipes a woman has brought together from all over the world.

Children can share the imaginative writings of another author and learn some lessons along the way. For fiction, one book is set close to home, involving the fishing industry, land sales and murder. Another family struggles through tough times and faces key issues in early-20th-century Pittsburgh, thanks to a Martha’s Vineyard author. Lots of choices for varying tastes, so take a look:

“French Beach Cooking School Cookbook,” by Marci Gauntlett

“French Beach Cooking School Cookbook,” by Marci Gauntlett (independently published, 2022)

Gauntlett, a West Yarmouth resident, recently found time to finish a long-planned project: Create a cookbook from the recipes she’s been collecting since the 1960s. A former teacher of cooking classes in Vancouver, she used recipes from various places she has lived – including Boston, Bermuda, Florida, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Germany – and what she calls her “own concoctions.” The results include unusual gourmet fare, everyday cuisine and some unusual choices like California Mussel Soup and Stinging Nettle Soup that involve ingredients foraged from nature.

“Thinking Green on Cape Cod,” by Gilbert Newton

“Thinking Green on Cape Cod,” by Gilbert Newton (West Barnstable Press, 2022)

In this latest book, Newton, a Cape Cod native, hopes to stimulate readers to enjoy the natural world around them, exploring the fragile and diverse environment of Cape Cod. He hopes that “thinking green” will help people to develop a caring stewardship for our local land. In 2013, Newton became the first director of the Sandwich STEM Academy, and he has been teaching environmental and marine science at Sandwich High School and the Cape Cod Community College for years. He has taught for other Cape programs, including at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy; is one of the founders of the Barnstable Land Trust; and is the past president of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. Newton’s other writing about the Cape’s shoreline includes “Mysteries of Seaweed: Questions and Answers, Activities for the Cape Cod Beachcomber.”

"Into the Realm," by Todd Forrest

“Into the Realm,” by Todd Forrest (independently published, 2022)

Forrest, a seventh-generation Cape Codder and former commercial fisherman, has mined familiar settings for his story of a 22-year-old modern-day fisherman named Caleb who has a tale to tell about what he considers justified murder. With his grandfather, Caleb is pitted against a builder turned local politician who wants to get Caleb’s family’s land. On a one-day journey on his boat, Caleb revisits childhood haunts and memories, ending on Monomoy Island. Besides his writing, Forrest is also a fine-art oil painter and a photographer.

“The Green Island,” by Samantha Bauer

“The Green Island,” by Samantha Bauer (Dorrance Publishing Co., 2022)

Bauer, a mother of two who lives in Falmouth, has created a collection of bedtime stories following the adventures of two children with the aim of teaching young readers about honesty and perseverance. The title story was inspired by her daughter asking why the stars from her night light are green. Bauer runs the nonprofit Inspiration is Everywhere, which helps community members with social services and hosts family-friendly social events, and also teaches art.

“Blood Pudding: Confessions of an Immigrant Boy Pittsburgh 1920,” by Ivan Cox

“Blood Pudding: Confessions of an Immigrant Boy Pittsburgh 1920,” by Ivan Cox (Fulton Books, 2022)

Cox is the pen name for Gerald Yukevich, who practices medicine on Martha’s Vineyard. His book tells the sometimes violent story of the struggles of the gritty, loving and colorful Polish immigrant Malinowski family. One of the sons in the seven-child family, Tad, must deal with various boyhood cruelties, losses and drama as he and his family navigate through life in the growing industrial city. The book includes beatings, incest and addiction as well as a tale of resilience. Although set in the past, Yukevich says the book “speaks urgently to current readers about abortion and immigrant life, critical issues in 21st-century America.”

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