From the Stacks: May 4, 2007

Utne Reader‘s library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500
magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively
dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box
bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights
(and occasional lowlights) of what’s landing in our library each
week in ‘From the Stacks.’ Check in every Friday for the latest
edition.

I’m not sure what I
expected to encounter in
The Wonder Bread Cookbook, a collection
of fluffy white-bread creations published by
Ten Speed
Press
, but I wound up enchanted by recipes for cr?pes,
strudel, asparagus rolls, and other surprising Wonder-based
snacks. (It doesn’t hurt that the book’s chic food photography
makes you drool over unlikely concoctions like Wonder Beef Cups
and Tropical Wonder Casserole.) The recipes are drawn from the
Wonder archives and from nationwide submissions, and some of
them are charmingly out-there: The Wonder Easter Egg Sandwich,
which calls for butter, bread, and chocolate-covered, coconut
candy eggs, is one sweet-toothed family’s Easter tradition.
There’s also a fun little discussion of Wonder’s history,
recounting the company’s successes — sliced bread, anyone? —
and acknowledging a few misfires, like the Wonder Round sandwich
bread that unfortunately never took off. — Danielle
Maestretti

The NACLA Report on the Americas is
dedicated to unraveling the complex relationships at play
throughout the Americas. The bimonthly magazine takes its eponymous
acronym from the North American Congress on Latin America, a New
York-based nonprofit that disseminates information on US-Latin
American relations and social issues throughout the region. The
latest issue (May/June) includes a multilayered analysis of
American immigration, profiling the efforts of the for-profit
prison system in the United States to cash in on immigrant
detentions, as well as the myths and realities of immigrant day
laborers, the lasting effects of last year’s immigration protests,
and the anti-immigration group, the Minutemen. The publication, now
in its 40th year, is geared toward activists, scholars,
policymakers, students, and journalists, and purports to be ‘the
most widely read English-language publication on Latin America.’ It
also earned an
Utne Independent Press Award for Best International
Coverage
last year. — Natalie Hudson

Mothering knows family life isn’t easy.
That’s why the magazine provides a space for readers to celebrate
parenthood through stories of struggle and perseverance, family
advice, and information on contemporary health issues. In the
bimonthly’s latest issue (May/June), Elissa Mendenhall offers a
critical view of the new HPV vaccine, a subject that’s drawn
significant attention due to the connection between human
papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. While acknowledging that
Merck’s new HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is ‘a tremendous feat in the
world of vaccine research,’ Mendenhall cautions that the drug
protects against only four of the 100 different strains of the
virus. Though those four strains account for the majority of
cervical cancers, the vaccine could leave girls and women with a
false sense of security against some 30 percent of the occurrences
of cervical cancers that Gardasil can’t prevent. And despite the
vaccine’s FDA approval, she reports, the studies on the drug that
are currently available for review were funded entirely by the
manufacturer. — Natalie Hudson

Soliciting stories seems
to be the mission of graphic artist K. Thor Jensen on his road trip
across the United States, depicted in the graphic memoir
Red
Eye, Black Eye
published by
Alternative Comics. After losing his job, his
girlfriend, his apartment, his grandmother, and living through
September 11th — all in the first two pages of the story — Jensen
buys a two-month unlimited Greyhound bus pass and sets off in
search of the ‘hobo’ life. In this tale of post-adolescent angst,
Jensen visits cities from New York to Los Angeles, hears the
stories he seeks, begs for change, and tries to get in a fight
(hence the ‘Black Eye’ of the title). In spite of all this forward
motion, Jensen never takes much initiative, and never finds much
meaning in his adventure. In the end, he comes to a simple
conclusion: ‘Some things are just the way they are.’ — Bennett
Gordon

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