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Short Takes: July 2009 


Noodles Every Day
Corinne Trang
Chronicle Books, 2009, $22.95
If your Weber-shelf copy of Trang’s The Asian Grill is getting dog-eared from overuse, rejoice. Here’s an indoor companion, dedicated to the glorious variety of Asian noodles and their accompaniments: soups, sauces, buns, dumplings, and spring rolls. The descriptions are literally mouthwatering, promising bowls of slurping satisfaction.


Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape & Social Change in Poughkeepsie
Harvey K. Flad & Clyde Griffen
SUNY Press Excelsior Editions, 2009, $23
Two Vassar professors offer a thoughtful, comprehensive portrait of Poughkeepsie’s growth from colonial outpost to thriving waterfront city, spotlighting the IBM boom and its aftermath. Flad will appear at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck on July 18 at 7:30pm and Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany on July 23 at 7pm.


Super in the City
Daphne Uviller
Bantam, 2009, $12
If you think smart chick lit is oxymoronic, you’re in for a treat. Uviller may have moved upriver, but she knows Greenwich Village cold, and her debut novel is a laugh-out-loud page-turner. When a lovable underachiever becomes the superintendent of her parents’ building, she uncovers more than a few twisted tales of the city.


Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife
Nava Atlas
Simon & Schuster, 2009, $12
Vegetarian guru Atlas ties on her cocktail apron for a smorgasbord of sardonic recipes for life, from “What a Turkey Noodle Soup” to “Way Too Much on Your Plate” (serves one frazzled female) and “Happily-Ever-After Ambrosia.” The vintage-themed artwork is a hoot, with some truly frightening food photography from the Wonder Bread era.


The Mirror of Turquoise Lake: Plays From
the Classical Tibetan Buddhist Tradition

Translated by Tenzin Chonyi & Robert Huton-Baker
Rinchen Publications, 2009, $15.95
Kingston-based publisher Rinchen opens a rare window onto Buddhist theater, where heroes brandish compassion rather than swords and transmute the dross of experience into sterling spiritual insight—the wheel of dharma pushes forward plot and karma decides the outcome. Romantic love may be sweet, but ascetic yogic practice is the true object of bodhisattvic desire.


The Complete Idiot’s Guide
to Green Building and Remodeling

John Barrows & Lisa Iannucci
Alpha Books, 2009, $19.95
Former Poughkeepsie Journal writer Iannucci and Green Building Verifier and contractor Barrows offer a clear and nonidiotic guide to the complexities of going green, from basic definitions and funding resources to materials and building techniques for all parts of a home: insulation, EnergyStar appliances, even fencing and pools.
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Speaking of...

  • This supremely eclectic group of recent books by Hudson Valley writers is well worth savoring.

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