BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | LIBRERIA

Photograph by Iwan Baan
Photograph by Iwan Baan

For our August Bookshop of the Month post we have chosen the magnificent Libreria!

If you haven’t already been to Libreria all we ask is, what are you waiting for?! Located on Hanbury Street, E1 – just off Brick Lane – Libreria is a beautiful destination bookshop that appears to go on forever thanks to a stunning mirrored wall and ceiling. Coupled with gorgeous yellow shelving throughout – the colour of happiness, optimism and creativity – you can’t help but feel inspired from the moment you walk in the door. Libreria also offers a unique browsing experience “designed to help you discover new books and ideas.” Books are not organised by genre or author rather by a theme, topic or idea to encourage serendipitous finds so you’ll leave not only with the book you wanted but with many more too. You will also find artists prints on the shelves often made on the risograph machine they have downstairs – you can attend a workshop and have a go yourself if you fancy! We recently attended a book launch here and had a great night, their entire cultural programme is impressive, including regular Beer & Browse nights where you can grab a drink, buy some books and catch a classic movie. So, if you’ve not yet been get down to East London soon – we challenge you to leave Libreria without buying something!

These are just some of the reasons we have chosen Libreria as our Bookshop of the Month for August. We caught up with Paddy Butler, Creative Director/Curator, to congratulate the team and ask a few questions:

1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! How would you describe Libreria in three words?
Discover, Create, Reimagine

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
Oh, at present it has to be our Utopia shelf near our big mirror at the back – It has so much in there including fiction by Tom McCarthy, Kafka, Laline Paul, political/philosophy by Peter Singer, Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia (of course), Erik Reece’s Utopia Drive, Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine, and lots on architecture; Stephen Graham’s Vertical, Geoff Manaugh and Dejan Sudjic to boot!

3. Where do you like to read?
Great question – in winter, well mainly in bed or the British Library, in summer it’s gotta be Brockwell Park, on the hill overlooking London, very beautiful. When I’m back there, those old Joycean pubs in Dublin (Mulligans of Pool Beg Street and the Grave Diggers, Glasnevin (Glasnevin Cemetery is where Bloom goes to Paddy Dignam’s funeral at the beginning of Ulysses) and then there’s the West of Ireland; always pretty special, wild and inspiring.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Either an artist, or an advertising canvaser like Leopold Bloom; for is he not gifted with a creative mind of the most endearing, wondrous kind?

5. Excluding Libreria – What is your favourite bookshop?
Skoobs second hand bookstore; an Aladdin’s Cave in Russell Square, and then there’s The Long Room in Trinity, Dublin, hallelujah, a bookstore in the old sense I guess…

You will find Libreria at:
65 Hanbury Street
London E1 5JP

Follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Photograph by Iwan Baan
Photograph by Iwan Baan

Water In May | Extract

Water In May

Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally mean she’ll have a family member who will love her deeply and won’t ever leave her. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the foetus, Mari faces choices she never could have imagined.

This literary, thought-provoking YA is based on true events and navigates a complex and impossible decision that can crush even the bravest of women.

Pass the tissues please.

Click here to read an extract from Water In May.

Out this September – order your copy today.

House of Ash | Extract

House of Ash

After hearing voices among an eerie copse of trees in the woods, seventeen-year-old Curtis must confront his worst fear: that he has inherited his father’s mental illness. A desperate search for answers leads him to a cursed mansion that burned down in 1894. When he glimpses a desperate girl in his bedroom mirror, he’s sure she’s one of the fire’s victims. But, more than 100 years in the past, the girl in the mirror is fighting her own battles…

This spine-tingling novel will have you captivated from the first page: click here to read an extract.


House of Ash by Hope Cook is out this September – order your copy today.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo | Extract

Applying for college and maintaining an image of perfection is difficult enough, and then you find out you’re immortal and your town is under siege from Hell-spawn…

Genie Lo is Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the modern day, and we couldn’t be more excited.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes fifteen 15-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s an immortal who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of Heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered. Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s bodacious transformation – sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively – as her sleepy Bay-area suburb in the Bay area comes under siege from Hell-spawn. This epic YA debut draws from Chinese mythology, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded, Oakland life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding.

Click here to read an extract from The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee.

Tweet us @ACBYA using #GenieLo to tell us what you think!


 The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee is out this August – order your copy here.

A Taxonomy of Love | Extract

A Taxonomy of Love

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.

Click here to read an extract from this swoon-worthy YA romance.

Have you fallen head-over-heels for A Taxonomy of Love? Let us know @ACBYA using #TaxonomyOfLove


 

A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen is out January 2018 – click here to pre-order your copy!

Odd & True | Extract

Odd & True

The latest from master of historical paranormal, Cat Winters, about a pair of monster-hunting sisters with a dark past. Taking inspiration from the legend of the Jersey Devil and adding in two strong female protagonists, this supernatural story won’t disappoint.

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of a monster slaying and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life – permanently injured and in constant pain from an accident.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister – despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances – might, indeed, have magic after all.

Click here to read an extract from Odd & True.

Tweet us @ACBYA using #OddandTrue, with your thoughts!

 

Odd & True by Cat Winters is on sale September 2017 – order your copy today.

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | QUEENS PARK BOOKS

Bookshop of the Month image

To celebrate the final day of Independent Bookshop Week, we have chosen a wonderful indie for our July Bookshop of the Month: Queens Park Books! 

Queens Park Books is everything an independent bookshop should be. Their wonderful window displays make it virtually impossible to not go in and when you do it’s a place where you can happily lose yourself in the bookshelves. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with a traditional look that makes you feel like your home away from home. We especially like how they use the feature tables to showcase genres and themes with a focus on the book covers – it’s such a lovely touch to have the books facing outwards showcasing the designs.

Now that’s just the shop – all bookshops would be nothing without it’s booksellers and Lisa, Laura and the team are the best of book champions. You can tell they love books (good thing too considering their day job) and getting them into the hands of readers is something they do so well. They know their customer and are always on hand to get the right book to the right person.

This is a short summary of why we have chosen to award Queens Park Books our first Bookshop of the Month award. Many congratulations to you all from all of us at Abrams and Chronicle Books.

We caught up with the lovely Laura from the shop and asked her some very important questions:

1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Queen’s Park Books in three words?

Creative, energetic, attention-to-detail.

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

The children’s and sci-fi reading areas.

3. Where do you like to read?

My favourite place to read is on holiday. I go back to my parents house a few times a year, who live in Stratford Upon Avon. I go for a few days and will take loads of books to read while I’m there!

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?

Some kind of writer – I used to be a fashion journalist.

5. Excluding Queen’s Park Books – what is your favourite bookshop?

I have a payday routine where I go to Foyles on Charing Cross Road, I get a hot chocolate and then head for Forbidden Planet. I couldn’t choose between the two!

 

You will find Queens Park Books at:

87 Salusbury Road
London, NW6 6NH

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

Vegetables on Fire | Recipe

Because grills are not just for meat eaters!

Vegetables on Fire

This is a grilling book dedicated to vegetables that eat like meat. The first of its kind, this cookbook features 60 recipes that star vegetables caramelised into succulence for satisfying, flavour-forward meals. Cauliflower steaks, broccoli burgers and beets that slow-smoke like a brisket are just three of the meaty but meatless meals to base a great cookout around. More than 30 stunning images showcase the beauty and variety of these recipes, each of which includes instructions for charcoal and gas grilling as well as using a grill pan on the stovetop or under the broiler. For vegetarians, those who love to grill, and anyone looking for more creative ways to prepare vegetables, this handbook is destined to live beside the grill.

The following recipe is from Vegetables on Fire by Brooke Lewy. 


 

SQUASH TACOS WITH BLACK BEANS, PICKLED ONIONS, AND PEPITA SALSA
© 2017 by Erin Kunkel

 

SQUASH TACOS WITH BLACK BEANS, PICKLED ONIONS, AND PEPITA SALSA
Serves 4

Like all good tacos, this version, made with butternut squash, is full of flavour, colour and texture. Be sure to make the pickles as their crunchy, salty bite brings out the best of the sweet squash.

  • Red onion and radish pickles
  • Pepita Salsa (recipe follows)
  • One 15-oz [425-g] can black beans
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ lbs [680 g] butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in [2.5-cm] cubes, or yellow and green summer squash, cut into wide strips
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Make the pickles and the salsa.

Drain and rinse the beans and then add them to a small pot with the oregano, ½ tsp of salt, the red onion, and a ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 to 15 minutes until beans are slightly thickened and flavours have melded, but the beans are still fully in tact. Keep warm.

In a large bowl, toss the squash with the oil, 1 tsp salt, cumin, and chili powder. If using a charcoal grill, make a medium-hot fire; otherwise heat gas grill to high. Using a grill topper, cook squash cubes over the hottest part of the grill and turn until they have grill marks on all sides and are a bit charred at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Once the squash has taken on color, move the whole grill topper to the cool part of the grill, cover, and cook until the pieces are tender but still offer some resistance when pierced with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the grill.

Lightly grill the tortillas on the coolest part of the grill. When they’re heated through and soft, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to transport them to the table. To assemble the tacos, top each tortilla with pepita salsa, squash, beans, and pickled onions and radishes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

INDOOR METHOD: Prepare the pickles, salsa, and beans as directed. Preheat oven to 400°F [200°C]. On a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet, oil and season the squash as directed. Roast until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Proceed with remainder of recipe as directed, using a medium dry skillet, or the microwave, to heat tortillas before serving.

PEPITA SALSA

Adding pumpkin seeds to the salsa adds a nice texture to the Squash Tacos. This salsa is also great in a bowl with tortilla chips or spread on a quesadilla before grilling.

  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup [70 g] roasted, salted pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce,
  • plus 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, pepitas, onion, chipotle, adobo sauce, cilantro, and garlic clove and blend until the mixture is well combined but still has texture.

Taste and adjust seasoning.


 

Vegetables on Fire: More Than 60 Recipes for Vegetable-Centered Meals from the Grill by Brooke Lewy is out 27th June 2017 – order your copy today.

 

Vegetarian Heartland | Recipe

 Eat well, wherever your ventures lead you

Vegetarian Heartland

Celebrated photographer and blogger Shelly Westerhausen presents 100 wholesome, meatless recipes for everything from drinks to desserts. Thoughtfully organised by the adventures that make a weekend special-picnics, brunch, camping and more-this gloriously photographed book will inspire folks to eat well, wherever their vegetarian ventures lead them. Celebrating a fresh perspective in food, here’s a new go-to that’s perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking for more delicious vegetable-forward meals.


The following recipe is an extract from Vegetarian Heartland by Shelly Westerhausen

Hiking_Excursion_Vegan_Chocolate_Chip_Chunkin_Bread
© 2017 by Shelly Westerhausen

Vegan Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Bread

MAKES 1 LOAF

I really, really, really wanted to include a savoury pumpkin bread recipe in this book, but I served it alongside this chocolate pumpkin bread recipe and several of my recipe testers said that this sweet (and vegan!) recipe was just too good to pass up. The bites of coarse salt you taste every once in a while give the perfect savoury balance to the not-too-sweet, spiced bread.

  • 2 cups [280 g] whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup [200 g] packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2⁄3 cup [165 g] pumpkin purée
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1⁄2 cup [120 ml] melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup [60 g] chopped pecans
  • 1⁄2 cup [90 g] dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup [105 g] raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line a 10-in [25-cm] loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, fine sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and add the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, water, and coconut oil into the centre. Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the pecans, chocolate chips, and 1⁄2 cup [70 g] of the pumpkin seeds. (Be careful not to over-mix.)

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1⁄4 cup [35 g] of the pumpkin seeds and the coarse sea salt.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into slices and serve at room temperature. To store, wrap in aluminium foil and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.


Vegetarian Heartland by Shelly Westerhausen is on sale 20th June 2017 – order your copy today.

Pizza Camp | Recipe

Pizza Camp

The ultimate guide to achieving pizza nirvana at home, from the chef who is making what Bon Appetit magazine calls “the best pizza in America.”

Joe Beddia’s pizza is old school – it’s all about the dough, the sauce and the cheese. And after perfecting his pie-making craft at Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, he’s offering his methods and recipes in a cookbook that’s anything but old school. Beginning with D’OH, SAUCE, CHEESE, and BAKING basics, Beddia takes you through the pizza-making process, teaching the foundation for making perfectly crisp, satisfyingly chewy, dangerously addictive pies at home.


The following recipe is extracted from Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia

© 2017 Randy Harris
© 2017 Randy Harris
Asparagus, Spring Cream, Onion, Lemon Pizza

Makes one 14- to 16-inch (35.5- to 40.5-cm) pizza

The first asparagus of the season is always a treat. Make sure you wash it, as it can be a little sandy. You also need to make sure that you get rid of the woodsy, inedible bottoms. The freshest cut stuff that you find at the farmers’ market is always best. I slice the spears into little coins. The thinner the better.

  • 1 ball dough: use your favourite dough or pick some up from a local pizzeria
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) Spring Cream (See note 1)
  • 3 ounces (85 g) fresh mozzarella, pinched into small chunks
  • 2 cups (220 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella
  • About 2 cups (270 g) chopped fresh asparagus
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500°F (260°C) or, if possible, 550°F (287°C). To make the pizza, first follow the instructions on prepping and rolling out the dough included in the Make & Bake section (see below).

Cover the dough with the spring cream, then add the mozzarellas. Now I like to add a very liberal amount of asparagus. Season with salt. Bake as described in Make & Bake (see below).

Finish with the grated hard cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, a spritz of fresh lemon juice from the wedge, and the chives.

Note 1: Spring Cream

Makes about 4 cups (960 ml)

This pizza marks the end of winter, when the only in-season ingredients have been mushrooms and potatoes for a few boring months. Winter in Philly is the longest season: It’s cold, there’s no parking, and everyone is angrier than usual. So when spring arrives and you emerge, like Punxsutawney Phil, from drinking in dark bars and see your fat, bloated shadow, this pizza—highlighted by a few fresh herbs plus lemon juice and zest for acid—will make you feel better about the world again.

  • 1 handful of basil (10 to 20 leaves)
  • ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh fennel fronds
  • ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh chives
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • Fat pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups (960 ml) heavy cream
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until slightly emulsified. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Make & Bake

Use your favourite dough or pick some up from a local pizzeria.

Our goal is to replicate the brick oven we use at Pizzeria Beddia, which absorbs and radiates heat, for baking in your home. I recommend using a good baking stone. A thick stone will hold heat better and longer. If you don’t already have a stone (or a baking steel), you can always go to a home supply store and buy a bunch of terra-cotta tiles. They come in all different sizes, so just get enough tiles to cover the rack of your oven. They’re perfectly square so they fit together really well with no gaps—just find ones that fit your oven. Those work—trust me, I’ve tried everything.
Place your stone on the lowest shelf of your oven, then turn your oven to its highest temperature. Most ovens go to 500°F (260°C) and some to 550°F (287°C). Heat your stone for at least one hour before baking.
Now that the oven is good, we can focus on the dough. If you’re taking your dough out of the fridge, give it about 15 minutes or so to warm up a bit so it will be easier to work with. It should have doubled in size in the fridge. If it hasn’t, let it sit at room temperature, covered with a slightly damp towel, until it does.
Next you can set up your “pizza station.” Take the sauce out of the fridge. Then get your utensils ready: sauce ladle, dough scraper, and pizza cutter. You’ll also need a medium to large bowl with a couple cups of flour in it. This will act as a dunk tank for your dough and for flouring your workspace. You’ll also want a cup with a few ounces of semolina flour for dusting your pizza peel. Please do not use cornmeal. I find its texture distracting and don’t think it belongs on a pizza.
Rolling out the dough
Lightly flour your counter and your hands. There is a lot of moisture in the dough, so you want to keep your counter and hands well-floured at all times—otherwise the dough will get sticky and impossible to handle. Lift the dough from its surface or container. If it doesn’t seem to want to move, you’ll have to use a dough scraper. Flip the dough into the flour bowl so the top side of the dough ball gets dusted first. Flip it once more, making sure that the dough is completely coated. Press the dough down into the flour, then pick it up and place it on the floured countertop.
Pressing your fingers firmly into the dough, start by flattening the center and work your way out toward the edge to make it wider, until it’s about 7 to 9 inches (17 to 23 cm) wide. Pushing down on the dough will release some of the gas and actually begin opening up the dough. Be careful not to disturb the outermost lip. This will eventually become your crust.
The next step is a bit tricky. Your goal is to take this disc of dough and carefully stretch it to about 14 to 16 inches (35.5 to 40.5 cm) without tearing it or creating a hole. I pick it up with floured hands and begin to gently stretch it over my fists, letting gravity do most of the work.
Once you’ve stretched it enough, put the dough back on the counter, making sure there is a generous dusting of flour underneath. Take a few generous pinches of semolina flour and dust your pizza peel. Make sure it’s coated evenly. Gently lift and transfer your dough to the peel. Make sure both your hands and the peel are well-floured. You are now ready to dress your pie.
Baking the pizza
Now it’s time to put the almost-pizza in the oven. With a firm and steady hand, take the peel and insert it into the oven at a slight downward angle, touching the tip of the peel to the back edge of the stone. This may not come easy on your first try, and it will take some practice to gain confidence. Give the peel a short jerk forward so that the dough begins to slide off the peel. Once you have the front end of the dough safely on the stone, gently pull the peel out and close the oven.
The hard part is over. It’s time to let the oven do the work. Time your bake. It’s best when your oven has a window and a light for watching the bake. I like to watch.
Let it go for 4 minutes. The crust will rise significantly. Then change the oven setting from bake to broil, cooking the pizza from the top down until the crust begins to blister. The residual heat of the stone will continue to cook the bottom. (If your broiler is at the bottom of your oven, skip this step and continue to bake the pizza as described.)
I cook all my pizzas until they’re well done, which could take up to 10 minutes total (sometimes less). Just keep checking so you don’t burn it. Look for the cheese to colour and the crust to turn deep brown. It may blacken in spots, and that’s okay.
When the pizza is finished baking, slide your peel underneath it in a quick motion so that the pizza is sitting directly on top of the peel. Take it out of the oven and place it on a cutting board. There it is: a glorious pizza.
NOTE: Do not use your peel as a cutting surface. I made that mistake early on and ruined the peel. A cutting board or an aluminium pizza tray is best.

Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia is out now – order your copy today.