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Originally published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM

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Local books: the story of bread; werewolves in Boston

New in local books: a social history of bread, Stephanie Coontz's "A Strange Stirring" and Duff McKagan's "It's So Easy" in paperback, and a new werewolf novel by Patricia Briggs.

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New releases

"White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf" by Aaron Bobrow-Strain (Beacon Press, $27.95). Bobrow-Strain, a professor of politics at Whitman College, writes the story of bread, examining how our bread preferences reflect elements of race, class, immigration and gender. The author "shows how efforts to champion 'good food' reflect dreams of a better society — even as they reinforce stark social hierarchies," says the publisher.

"A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s" by Stephanie Coontz (Basic Books, $15.99). New in paperback: the Evergreen State College professor's account of how Betty Friedan's 1963 book "The Feminine Mystique" helped women realize that their depression and self-doubt reflected not personal weakness but a reaction to political and social oppression. Coontz "continues to deftly make history a personal science, persuading readers to ponder those societal yokes we've taken up to wear around our own necks," wrote Seattle Times reviewer Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett.

"Fair Game: An Alpha and Omega Novel" by Patricia Briggs (Ace, $26.95). New installment in the Alpha and Omega fantasy series by the Washington state author. Anna Latham, an Omega werewolf "with the power to calm those around her," is sent with her mate, Charles, to Boston to help the FBI on a serial killer case. The victims are werewolves, and the two suspect that someone is targeting the preternatural.

"It's So Easy: And Other Lies" by Duff McKagan (Touchstone, $15.99). New in paperback: the memoir of McKagan, the Seattle-based musician who became the bass player for Guns N' Roses. "The book has the usual hallmarks of a rock memoir: Names are dropped, lines are snorted, bottles are drained," wrote Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur. "But 'It's So Easy' is also well-written, humble, human and surprisingly honest."

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