UPF books have received a lot of recent praise! Take a look at some of the highlights from the past few months:
Von Diaz’s Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South was highlighted in Publishers Weekly: “Diaz grew up shuttled between Puerto Rico and Atlanta, and her appreciation for both cultures and their rich culinary histories is showcased in this delightful collection of Puerto Rican comfort food recipes. . . . Purists may scoff at some of her choices (the rum cake, for example, calls for instant pudding mix), but Diaz argues that it’s much more important to remember the people and settings of memorable meals rather than obsess about absolute authenticity. . . . The recipes are solid and imaginative, but it’s Diaz’s gift for storytelling that shines.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reviewed Coconuts and Collards: “Diaz doesn’t candy-coat the rougher contours of her dichotomous experience, the bumps and bruises, the sorrow and pain, the yearning. Coconuts & Collards is a clear-eyed, achingly tender confession of how food can hurt, and how it can heal. What we swallow doesn’t just fuel the body: It nourishes the soul and awakens the heart. . . . Coconuts & Collards is every bit as poignant as it is appetizing: a testament to how change and upheaval can force us to grow even deeper roots.”
The Revolution That Failed: Reconstruction in Natchitoches by Adam Fairclough was also reviewed in Publishers Weekly: “In this provocative work of political history, Fairclough unequivocally declares that post-Civil War Reconstruction didn’t achieve its goal. . . . A chilling reminder of how some Americans willingly perverted the democracy they claimed to treasure so they could uphold white supremacy.”
Phil Gernhard, Record Man by Bill DeYoung also received a couple of great reviews. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune says, “While reading Record Man, music fans might want to open a YouTube link so they can listen to old songs as they read about how they became hits.” Creative Loafing Tampa Bay adds, “The story of this Florida legend-maker will suck you in to its pages. . . . A delight.”
John Capouya’s Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band also continues to be a press favorite. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay says the book “prove[s] that Florida does—and always did—have a whole lot of soul.” Black Grooves reports that the book is “an engaging and informative read, placing an emphasis on the stories behind the singers and the songs gleaned from historical research as well as interviews with surviving musicians, singers, producers, deejays, and other industry personnel. . . . An important resource on a music scene that’s never been fully documented within a single volume, adding greatly to our understanding of American music and, in particular, the soul, R&B, disco and funk grooves emanating from the Sunshine State in waves that spread across the nation.”
Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen was featured in an interview with the author in Edible South Florida: “In his love letter to Florida’s abundant seafood, tropical produce and multicultural flavors, Norman Van Aken weaves lore and stories among his recipes.” The cookbook was also highlighted in an interview in Opulence Magazine, which explores the singular combination of food and art in Van Aken’s new restaurant, 1921 by Norman Van Aken.
Jared S. Buss was recently interviewed by Air and Space Magazine. He discusses the life and impact of Willy Ley, “who inspired millions to dream, hope, and believe in a future of
interplanetary travel,” and who is the subject of Buss’s book, Willy Ley: Prophet of the Space Age.
When Science Sheds Light on History: Forensic Science and Anthropology by Philippe Charlier with David Alliot (translated by Isabelle Ruben) continues to receive great reviews. The New Historian calls the book “a series of scientific vignettes showing how forensic science can update our understanding of history,” and Inside Higher Ed says the text “illuminates the world of the living.”
Virginia Woolf’s Modernist Path: Her Middle Diaries and the Diaries She Read by Barbara Lounsberry received several reviews. Choice says, “meticulously researched and beautifully written, this volume is a love letter for all scholars of Woolf and modernism, and for neophytes interested in the aegis of Woolf’s distinctive style. Essential.” The Times Literary Supplement reports, “Lounsberry’s years of meditation on her material can be felt. . . . In the passionate diary-reader we find here, Barbara Lounsberry has brought to life one more Virginia Woolf.” Woolf Studies Annual notes that the book “convincingly situates the diary as an integral part of Woolf’s developing modernist aesthetic, and as a work worthy of study in its own right.”