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Food & Drink book trends discovered at BookExpo America 2014

BookExpo America 2014 at Javits Center
Leeann Lavin

Yesterday’s opening of the BookExpo America (BEA) pulsed with the power of the pen. Er, books. Digital or pulp-filled, coffee table or beach read – the annual book fest felt like being a kid in a candy store. But better.

While the publishing “suits” appeared anxious and in interviews defensively professed, “books can still sell” the crowds of fans lined up to get their books autographed looked more like groupies waiting for a favorite rock star. And the authors looked like kids waiting for the bus on the first day of school: hopeful, giddy and scared all at the same time, especially the first-time authors

Featuring 750 plus authors at the show, there were plenty of marquee celebrities there: Neil Patrick Harris, Gael Sheehy, and Ruth Reichl, to name a few.

The soon-to-be-authors and self-published authors had to be more resourceful, stopping press like this Examiner in the aisle to explain their books, their story, and their dreams.

Intrigued by Ann Pizzorusso’s sincerity and book jacket subject – DaVinci – Tweeting DaVinci to be exact – when she handed over a flier. The soon-to-be-author is a geologist, (so was DaVinci; hence the title) is “fascinated by secrets” and possesses a passion for our relationship to the environment. In short order she was readily explaining how the Etruscans knew were to hide their gold in the hills around Rome and today’s technology shows those pockets as negative geo-magnatic fields. “How did they know,” she posits. Or that Baltic amber necklaces were worn by the ancients to ward off throat disease. Turns out there is restorative acid in the amber.

Available in October from Amazon, her book, Tweeting DaVinci is made possible because of today’s technology to unearth (no pun intended) the secrets long held by civilizations. And by current technology that allowed her employ a South Korean publisher and email the entire process from layout to production.

But this Examiner was there to do some digging of her own – to discover food and drink cookbook trends and upcoming culinary-focused authors.


Publishers featured some chef-driven cookbooks -- mainly the Iron Chef caliber. However the volume of celebrity chef cookbooks wasn’t there.

The Stewart Tabori & Chang imprint of Abrams will publish in October for less than twenty dollars an intriguing concept – perhaps market it as a gift set: My 10 Best – a gorgeously illustrated series with 10 signature dishes from each of four master chefs: Eric Ripert, (personal fav), Daniel Boulud, Pierre Hermė and Alain Ducasse.

Health or Nutrition The Osprey Group’s Watkins Publishing, features a catalog of soon-to-be published books that focus on the expanding variety of specific dietary needs including vegan and vegetarianism, dairy free, juicing, and foraging. The books are “taste driven, and offer a sumptuous guide to healthier eating” according to John Tintera, Vice President, Watkins Publishing, a member of Osprey Group. They also have a very timely series of Gluten Free books available.

The Happy Hormone book will offer ways to boost one’s dopamine, leptin and adrenals through diet.

Perhaps readers of the upcoming The Madhouse Cookbook written by chef Jamie Oliver’s food stylist about how to manage one’s kitchen when overwhelmed with stress, work and kids, and featuring 50 recipes to cook in less than 30 minutes can take a page from the hormone book…

A chicken focused cookbook by chef Marcus Bean, Iron Chef UK is due out in September. Good chicken and good chicken recipes are long overdue.

Eat Yourself Pregnant is written by the “godmother of fertility” Zita West – and with endorsements by the likes of the “Cates:” Blanchett and Winslet, along with another Kate, the Duchess of Windsor – this book is sure to be a best seller.

Quirk Books, distributed by Random House showcased a veritable Fifth Avenue store window display. Known for their design attractive books, the Haute Dogs and Madelines cookbooks were eye candy and very seductive.

Schiffer Publishing cited craft books as a trend, as in how to brew craft beer.

BookExpo America runs through Saturday. There is a complete agenda of forums, talks, teas and breakfasts, and seminars for kids and adults. One can also meet a favorite author or discover a new one. There are non-stop autographing sessions. And BookCon's Sneak Peek Happy Hour.

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