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LEGENDS OF TEXAS BARBECUE COOKBOOK: Recipes and Recollections from the Pit Bosses
By Robb Walsh (Chronicle Books) $19


Just in time for the 4th of July barbecue comes this ode to Texas ’cue and the masters hovering over the pit or posted behind the grill. Stories such as how barbecue may have gotten its name and tales of heated Texas-style cook-offs are woven throughout this entertaining book, which is filled with wonderful photographs, plus dozens of recipes for sauces (we’ve excerpted “East Texas Hickory Sauce” on this page), mops, how-to grill or pit, and delectable (and fairly simple) recipes you can try on your family and friends.

OUR READ: EASY RECIPES AND FUN TALES
SAVING YOUR BRAIN: The Revolutionary Plan to Boost Brain Power, Improve Memory, and Protect Yourself Against Aging and Alzheimer’s
By Jeff Victoroff, M.D. (Bantam Books) $26


Victoroff claims we don’t have to accept deteriorating brain function as we age and offers specific ways to reduce the risk of age-related brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and improve our memories. Topics covered in this thick tome include the brain-saving diet; how stress, depression, anger, and even a bad work environment threaten your brain’s structure; and practical steps you can begin taking today to enhance your brain’s function.

OUR READ: A THOUGHTFUL APPROACH BY A HARVARD-TRAINED NEUROLOGIST



FLESH TONES
By M.J. Rose (Ballantine Books) $22


In a New York courtroom, a woman is being tried for the alleged mercy killing of her ex-lover, a legendary painter she met when she was just 17 and he was 20 years her senior. The sometimes-sordid details of their on-again, off-again relationship are revealed throughout the trial, as is the possible motive for murder: her family’s financial ruin. This combination of dark emotion and legal drama is penned by Rose, considered by many to be the queen of e-publishing and among the first to break the e-to-print barrier when her debut novel, Lip Service, was picked up by a mainstream publisher and became a media phenomenon.

OUR READ: A PERFECT SUMMER ESCAPE



howie day australia (epic)

if you haven’t heard about this singer-songwriter from maine, you’re about to. with this, his first major label release, day, who is just 21, is poised to become big. his talent shines on “she says,” “kristina,” and the live cut “morning after,” when it’s just a boy with his acoustic guitar. a great combination of breathy vocals and introspective lyrics, day has already sold 30,000 copies of australia the old-fashioned way — by word of mouth and at his shows while opening for the likes of dave matthews, sting, and david gray.