Books

There's not much crazier than starting a diet plan a week before Thanksgiving. It has a higher chance of epic fail than going on the wagon right before your New Year's Eve party. But my husband and I did it, and have maintained; perhaps our strategy is the key to making perennial New Year's diet resolutions stick.
Starting at the top of the world, Thames & Hudson's Mountains: Mapping the Earth's Extremes ($55) uses satellite technology to explore 13 of the world's greatest mountains, with essays about each; with 198 illustrations, it's a magnificent collection. More focused, but still breathtaking, is Alaska Range: Exploring the Last Great Wild by Carl Battreall (Mountaineers Books, $29.95). Battreall has photographed the 650-mile stretch for years--an "isolated wilderness... to be celebrated, something that needs to be preserved."
It is our great pleasure to recommend 20 top-notch 2016 children's and YA titles for holiday gift-giving. But first, we'd like to highlight three bonus shelves of gift ideas. (And look for our Best Children's and Teen Books of the Year on December 13!) "In the deep woolen dark,/ as we slumber unknowing,/ let the sky fill with flurry and flight."
There's a famous saying, often attributed to actor Edmund Gwenn, that goes: "Dying is easy. Comedy is difficult." A handful of female comedic actors havemanaged to make it look easy, however, and they share funny stories about their travails in recently released books. Carol Burnett's In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun(Crown Archetype, $28) tells behind-the-scenes anecdotes about her eponymous show: "Put me in a fat suit or a fright wig or black out my two front teeth and I'm in hog heaven."
Our annual cookbook issue is fun to put together, but frustrating because of having to make choices--we could devote an entire issue to vegan food. Breakfast cookbooks are strong this year. Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence (Ten Speed, $30) has a delicious Southern twist: Hoecakes with Buttermilk Crema, Roasted Potato and Adobo Frittata, Shrimp Gravy Biscuit Sundae. Michael Zee began arranging breakfasts and photographing them three years ago; the result is SymmetryBreakfast (power House Books, $24.95)--beautiful images and delicious recipes, like Baked Oats with Ginger Beer Bacon, Huevos Divorciados, spicy Shakshuka.
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