Books

Post image for Local writer Rebecca Bloom co-authors “The Anti-Cook Book”

Menlo Park resident Rebecca Bloom is a lawyer turned writer. Her writing “partner-in-crime” and one-time college roommate, Shelly Onderdonk, is a veterinarian. It’s natural that the two, neither chef nor food critic, would combine for a new book, The Anti-Cook Book.

And not to be mis-understood: They are not against cooks, meaning the people who make meals for families and friends — or do so professionally. Nor are they against cooking. As they write in the book’s preface: “We believe that your food choices can affect your health, your pocketbook, and your mental state. Our hope is that our recipes and our stories about feeding our families and being fed by our forebears will resonate with you and bring more efficiency and joy to your food journey.”

For Rebecca, the book is being published just as she’s about to launch her second child off to college, becoming an official empty nester. “Both of my kids will be on the East Coast where I grew up and where my parents still live,” she said during a visit at Café Zoë, where there will be a book launch party on July 23 at 6:30 pm. “I’m going to start dating my husband. We’ve been so busy raising our kids and following our own career paths. Dating will be fun!”

To get the book published, Rebecca and Shelly started their own publishing company, Claws Out Press. “Mainstream publishers are looking for people who are already famous and have big social media presence,” said Rebecca. “We’re not chefs — and that’s exactly the point. We decided early on not to dig for that needle in a haystack that would involve finding a publisher.”

Just as they aren’t chefs, the co-authors are not marketeers either. But they’re working on reaching food and parenting bloggers across the country in what Rebecca describes as a “low key, modest marketing campaign.”

One of Rebecca’s daughters, Olivia did the illustrations for the book. She is the one off to college this fall. Here other daughter, who lives in New York was involved in the making of a film, Inventing Tomorrow, that was shown at the recent Windrider Film Festival. “What a thrill to sit in the auditorium at M-A, the school she graduated from, and watch that film — and meet the director!” she said.

For the next year, most of Rebecca’s efforts will be getting word out on the book. “So far, the reaction has been amazing,” she said. “It’s been so gratifying to hear from people who tell us that the book empowers them as well as making them feel not as bad about what they’ve been doing in the kitchen.”

Rebecca will have copies of the book at the launch party on July 23 at Café Zoë; copies can also be purchased online.

Photo by Robb Most (c) 2018

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Cool Crafts for Kids K-5! Book bags on July 3

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Create a unique tote bag for your library books on July 3rd from 2:00 to 3:30  at the Menlo Park Library, which will provide the bags, fabric markers and plenty of great craft materials. Drop-in, while materials last. Last entry at 3:00 p.m. For rising grades K-5 only -thanks for your cooperation. Children under 10 […]

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Learn how local streets got their names on July 2

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Join Bo Crane, author of the book The Streets of Menlo Park, as he shares information about the origins and namesakes of our local streets.  Discover the fascinating stories and biographies associated with the names — how the streets were named, and who lived on them. Bo’s talk takes place on July 2 at 7:00 […]

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Friends of the Library summer book sale set for June 23 & 24

Thumbnail image for Friends of the Library summer book sale set for June 23 & 24

The Friends of the Library book sale is back! Stop by and save money on some wonderful books, all while supporting the library. DVDs and music CDs will also be featured. Prices start at $0.50 for mass market paperbacks and $1 for trade and hardcover titles. This two-day sale will run Saturday, from 10:00 am […]

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Temple Grandin talks about her new book at Kepler’s Literary Foundation event

Thumbnail image for Temple Grandin talks about her new book at Kepler’s Literary Foundation event

In an appearance sponsored by Kepler’s Literary Foundation, Dr. Temple Grandin was in Menlo Park last week talking about her latest book, Calling All Minds, and her life in general, taking questions from a sold-out audience that included elementary and middle school children at the Hillview Performing Arts Center. The author of numerous books, Temple […]

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Antiquarian book sale set or Saturday, May 12

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The Friends of the Menlo Park Library is hosting an Antiquarian Book Sale Saturday, May 12, 2018, from noon to 3:00 pm. This first-ever one-day book sale features a broad selection of antiquarian and collectible books at a range of prices. Most of these donated books have not been offered at the Friends’ regular quarterly […]

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County Poet Laureate Lisa Rosenberg reads at Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park on May 10

Thumbnail image for County Poet Laureate Lisa Rosenberg reads at Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park on May 10

On Thursday, May 10, at 7:00 pm, poet Lisa Rosenberg will read from her recently-released debut collection, A Different Physics, winner of the 2017 Red Mountain Poetry Prize, with an informal Q & A and book signing. The reading will take place atCafe Zoë in Menlo Park (1929 Menalto Ave. 94025) Lisa is the second Poet […]

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Local author Maggie King pays a visit to local book club

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One local book club, which has been meeting for over 20 years, hosted Menlo Park author Maggie King, who we profiled on InMenlo earlier this year. Book club member Julie Brody forwarded some thoughts about the meeting written my Deborah Fitz, which are excerpted below. “We had a very animated discussion of [Maggie’s novel] An […]

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Poet Lisa Rosenberg reads from her debut collection on April 10

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Menlo Park resident Lisa Rosenberg, who is San Mateo County Poet Laureate, will read from her debut collection, A Different Physics, winner of the 2017 Red Mountain Poetry Prize at The Terraces of Los Gatos on Tuesday, April 10. The reading will include an informal Q&A and book signing. The event is free and open […]

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Learn about the market for collectible books at Friends of the Library antiquarian book clinic

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Community members are invited to bring up to three books or manuscripts (no magazines, postcards or memorabilia)  on April 7 when the Friends of the Menlo Park Library is hosting a workshop about appraising and valuing old books featuring Bruce MacMakin of auction house PBA Galleries. No books will be accepted for consignment, but you’ll learn […]

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Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi talk about their book on civil liberties at the Menlo Park Library

Thumbnail image for Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi talk about their book on civil liberties at the Menlo Park Library

Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi, coauthors of Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California will discuss their book, which is the first-ever account of the struggles to develop and protect civil rights in California. On April 4 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the […]

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