The Book Shelf: Reading to get the most out of summer

Melisa Pressley

In Westward the Tide, Louis L’Amour writes:

“I like the sound of rain on a roof, and the look of a fire in a fireplace, and the embers of a campfire and coffee in the morning . . . Those are the things that matter.” 

The simple things. Merriment found in the minutiae. What could better express summer and the anticipation of travel, friends, fireworks, and campfire picnics? The library may not top your summer bucket list, with so many delights awaiting you, but we can help make sure your party, your camping trip, and time spent with your grandchildren, is lively and fun.

Here are three titles at the Black Mountain Library that will make you a rock star reveler both indoors and outdoors all summer:

Feast by Firelight, by Emma Frisch. The best thing about this cookbook is how encouraging Frisch is about the great outdoors. From a sure-fire technique for building a campfire, to the proper layering when packing your cooler, Frisch offers helpful tips and tricks for a novice camper like me. The illustrations are gorgeous, and this title is sure to inspire you to build a fire in the backyard and cook over an open flame, no tent needed.

Food52 Ice Cream and Friends: 60 Recipes and Riffs, by the Editors of Food52. Online foodie community, Food52, brings a scrumptious cookbook into real life. Filled with creamy, noshy goodies for every taste bud, how can a cook book go wrong with chapters like these?

Chocolate, vanilla & company -- Nutty -- Fruity -- Herbs & spices -- Drink riffs – Savory

Kilwin’s birthday cake ice cream is my favorite local treat, but I can’t wait to try Food52’s Burnt Toast Ice Cream—filled with bits of “toast dust.” (Who knew that was a thing?)

A Year of Picnics: Recipes for Dining Well in the Great Outdoors, by local lifestyle guru Ashley English, packs plenty of seasonal goodness into her book. Farm-to-table culture meets country couture, with recipes that range from cranberry preserves to parmesan popcorn, and DIY projects like a portable picnic table, to boot.


Grab your favorite Taste buddy and check out these and other tasty titles today.