Food and Cooking:
Vegan Pressure Cooking: Delicious Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes, by JL Fields. This includes recipes, of course, but also instructions in choosing and using pressure cookers–and demystifies the pressure cooker!
Homegrown Paleo: Over 100 Delicious, Gluten-Free, Farm-to-Table Recipes, and a Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food, by Diane Rodgers. From forest, to pasture, to garden, to table, this Massachusetts farmer shows us how to do it all.
Kitchen Creamery: Making Yogurt, Butter, and Cheese at Home, by Louella Hill. Lavishly illustrated how-to book.
Gluten-Free Classic Snacks: 100 Recipes for the Brand-Name Treats You Love, by Nicole Hunn. How to make Thin Mints, Girl Scout cookies, Pop Tarts, Twinkies, Keebler crackers–all your favorite junk foods.
Gardening and the Environment:
Sunset Western Garden Book of Easy-Care Plantings: The Ultimate Guide to Low-Water Beds, Borders, and Containers.
Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More Than 100 Herbs, by Tammi Hartung, an herbalist, teacher, and certified organic grower.
Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America's Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and the Environment, by Denis Hayes and Gail Hayes. “This far-ranging and deeply researched book details the damage of factory farming to the planet and to humans–and with a lot of sympathy for the cows,” says Tom Zelman.
The Truth About Nature: A Family's Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors, by Stacy Tornio. A fun book for family discussions and exploration.
Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems, by Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, and Bryce Ruddock.
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection, by Jacob Silverman. Silverman calls for media users to take back ownership of their digital selves. And Booklist calls this book “an absorbing look at the conflict between privacy and social media.”
How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction, by Beth Shapiro. Could extinct species be brought back to life? The science says yes. But what are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? This book has been well-reviewed by a number of readers, including Elizabeth Kolbert, who calls it “an engaging, rigorous, and deeply thoughtful book.”
The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity, by Norman Doidge. This is science for the rest of us; you don't have to be a brain surgeon to learn how our brains work.
Kill Chain: the Rise of the High-Tech Assassins, by Andrew Cockburn. The history of drone warfare, which has become our principle way of waging war, with excellent reviews by such authors as Nick Turse and Tim Weiner. This is deeply troubling stuff.
Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, by John Gargrove, former senior orca trainer at SeaWorld.
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, by Bruce Schneier. Can we have both security and privacy? Schneier shows us exactly what we can do to have both. Novelist Neal Stephenson calls this book “a pithy, pointed, and highly readable explanation of what we know in the wake of the Snowden revelations.”