If we told you that this book contains everything from “aamsul” to “zwieback,” with “kway teow” at the exact midpoint, would you be able to guess what it is about? Give up? Are you subliminally feeling your mouth start to water? Once you crack open the Fifth Edition of The New Food Lover’s Companion, you’ll be dashing to your nearest grocery store or international market to seek out that aamsul (a kiwi-size fruit used in curries) or find zwieback, a bread that is baked and then toasted until it gets just the right crispiness and palatability. Compilers Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst have fulfilled the mission of Barron’s Educational Series, of which this volume is the latest addition. Beyond the comprehensive A-to-Z listings extends a 60-page appendix filled with everything any foodie would ever need to know, from the “Boiling Point of Water at Various Altitudes” to two-page spreads explaining the retail cuts of beef, lamb, pork and veal. Buy the book and cross the bridge over the noodle kway teow.

The workplace is becoming a place where it’s taking more and more work just to make it through the day, to survive without making some possibly job-threatening faux pas. Miss Manners (aka Judith Martin) comes to the rescue! In Miss Manners Minds Your Business, Judith and her son Nicholas Ivor Martin—a successful business executive—painstakingly traverse 15 chapters of potential nightmares at the office, sharing and brilliantly answering hundreds of letters from perplexed workers at every level of the professional spectrum. How can you tell off your unreasonable boss without getting fired? How should you critique your employees without destroying their morale? How—for the sake of goodness, sanity and your family—will you ever learn to leave your work at the office? If the Martins had been around dispensing their wisdom in Slough or Scranton, there never would have been the dysfunctional workplaces we see in either uncomfortably hilarious version of “The Office.” As the 21st century accelerates through its first quarter, the personal and the professional have become more intertwined than ever before. Miss Manners is still there, right when we need her most, to help us negotiate a peaceable truce.

The publisher Lonely Planet has a long track record of informing and enchanting travelers with guides that make it almost impossible to wait for the flight date. Now, the company has pulled out all the stops with 1000 Ultimate Adventures, a book that challenges the fundamentally fearless traveler to go that extra frequent-flyer mile, live the dream, take the risk and finally do that extremely exciting thing in that wildly remote place. The thematic organization of the book (ranging from “Scariest Animal Encounters” to “Hair-Raising Road Trips”) will appeal to the growing audience for those TV shows that reveal the natural world to be a place for bottomless danger, endless surprise and just the right backpack. Don’t want to drive down the narrow Troll’s Road in Norway, every moment inches away from toppling over the cliff? Well, the magnificent photograph of it (among dozens of such glories in the book) is the next best—and much safer—option for armchair travelers.

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