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Autumn Reading

We’ve officially settled into Autumn: our apples are picked, our pumpkins are carved, and the holiday season is approaching faster than we can keep track. That means it’s time for another Book Roundup, because nothing rings in the start of cozy season like a fresh batch of real life books. Cookbooks, biographies, poetry, sustainable living inspiration, and more. Read on for a sampling of what we’re making room for in our expanding book section at Mast Market.

Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes from the Matriarch of Edisto Island by Emily Meggett

Emily Meggett, the “matriarch of Edisto Island,” wrote this collection of recipes to honor and commemorate the Gullah and Geechee communities who were enslaved in West Africa and brought over to the coastal islands off of North Carolina, down through Florida. This book is part-history,-part-legacy, and part-culinary exploration, and it honors an often forgotten culture that spans generations, while also featuring a woman who has told the stories of her life through her cooking. Meggett, one who has never relied on recipes throughout her time in the kitchen, takes the time to share her generational knowledge and put all of her history down on paper for the rest of us to learn and enjoy.

Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability by Alison Hope Alkon & Julian Agyeman

This is both an in-depth and expansive exploration into understanding food systems in America, and how race, class, and sustainability all play their parts in who gets access to healthy and affordable food. If you’re interested in learning more about the food justice movement, environmentalism, and the world of agriculture in this country, this is the read for you.


Remodelista: The Low Impact Home by Margot Guralnick & Fan Winston

Remodelista, the interior design and lifestyle site, turns its focus towards sustainability with this stylized and curated presentation on low-impact homes. Both a guide and a tour book of sorts, this will take you through a selection of sustainably-focused homes and how others have approached minimalist living. It also provides tips, sources, and ideas for tackling sustainability in the home room by room, whether you’re looking to renovate, or you’re simply hoping to lighten the load on unwanted items.


Foodtopia: Communities in Pursuit of Peace, Love, & Homegrown Food by Margot Anne Kelley

This book chronicles five “back-to-the-land” movements throughout American history, from 1840 up to present day. Whether you’re flirting with the idea of leaving your chosen city and flocking to the countryside, or if you’re simply curious about starting your own small herb garden in the backyard, you will come away from this book with a deeper reverence for farming, for the land, and for those who have devoted their lives to being its stewards.


Pasta by Missy Robbins & Talia Baiocchi

Just when you thought you’d seen, heard, and tasted it all with pasta, Michelin-starred Chef Missy Robbins and author and editor Tali Baiocchi come out with even more ways to create deliciousness in your life with this two-ingredient food. Beautifully photographed and intricately organized, this is the consummate pasta lover’s book: from shapes, to flavors, to full-meal pairings.


The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard by John Birdsall

Many of us are familiar with the name “James Beard,” and the fact that his eponymous award is synonymous with prestige and excellence in the culinary world. What we might not know about, however, is the actual man behind the name. Like any good biography, this book dives into the history, journey, and identity of a person we all thought we knew, or perhaps someone we’d looked over altogether. Beard’s life story takes us through the early 1900s, into the 1920s in Paris and London, and into the culinary television world of the 1950s, and it leaves us with a portrait of a person that will undoubtedly hold more even weight when we hear the words “James Beard Award” again.


Simply Sustainable by Lily Cameron

This is for those interested in implementing low-to-zero plastic use, along with other zero-waste practices and systems. Not only will you learn how-to’s of keeping your home and habits sustainable, but you’ll also learn the why’s, which will keep you motivated to keep up the intentional lifestyle. Lily Cameron walks you through actionable approaches room by room, and even event by event (like dinner parties and packing for trips,) which makes the low-waste transition much more approachable and digestible.


Mother Grains by Roxana Jullapat

Roxana Jullapat, celebrated baker and co-owner of Friends & Family in Los Angeles, explores eight ancient grains that are the cornerstone of baking and cooking: wheat, sorghum, buckwheat, barley, corn, oats, rice, and rye. Not only will you get a compelling history lesson that takes you all over the world, but you’ll learn how to source the highest quality grains to make your bakes healthier and more satisfying.


Vegan at Home: Recipes Modern, Plate-Based Lifestyle by Solla Eiriksdottir

This plant-based cookbook ranges from the most basic recipes you can make, like nut milks, to more complex dishes for the cook who likes a challenge, like Spicy Strawberry Pavlova. It’s beautifully presented and will look just as good propped up on a bookshelf as it will resting at the center of a coffee table; its 145 delicious vegan recipes, meant for meals of all occasions, don’t hurt either.


What Your Food Ate by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé

Montgomery and Biklé blend science and prose to deliver a powerful and informative exploration on modern agriculture, and how crop and soil health directly affect the health of all of us. The book also provides a deep-dive into regenerative farming (a subject we can’t learn enough about here at Mast) and other sustainable practices that can help mitigate climate change and preserve our crops, for the collective good.

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