Food writer Kitty Morse, a Vista, California resident who recently visited Chico, has prepared "A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors For Today's Table" ($18.95 in paperback from La Caravane, available at Lyon Books in Chico). Beautifully designed and photographed, the book offers dozens of recipes (from "Goat Cheese & Olive Appetizers With Melon" to "Grilled Tilapia") familiar to the ancient Hebrews and early Christians. Each menu item offers an associated Biblical reference and an historical and culinary discussion. Morse includes a glossary of foodstuffs mentioned in the King James Bible and suggests menus for entertaining guests. There's more at www.abiblicalfeast.com.
"Fit At Fifty Something" ($14.95 in paperback from Two Harbors Press) is Sacramento dentist Brian Bolstad's prescription for a more vigorous middle age. After suffering from debilitating back pain, Bolstad resumed martial arts training in his late forties and now, in his mid-fifties, offers what he calls common sense advice on nutrition and weight control, time management, endurance, stress, and sex. The last half of the book features large black-and-white pictures of the author performing a series of flexibility and range of motion exercises. (A DVD set is available at fitatfiftysomething.com.) Witty and blunt ("embrace a little hunger"), Bolstad rocks.
"Willows" ($21.99 in paperback from Arcadia Publishing) is part of the the "Images of America" series. Prepared by the Museum Society of Willows and museum volunteers JoAnn Wright and Evelyn Whisman, the book features over 200 historical photographs with extensive captions. An introduction sets the scene, noting that "the first settlers of what was then the northern part of Colusa County" found land surrounded by willows (fed by a spring near the present town). By the 1870s, farmland was going "for $4-$6 an acre." The "million dollar fire" at Hochheimer's department store in 1920 was devastating, but "can-do" Willows rebuilt.