I often wonder about Isa. She hasn't been around for quite some time. Perhaps we can send her "good vibes" to rejoin us here!! I miss her enthusiasm.
As for book recommendations, I am working on a review for the Dornenburg/Page New American Chef. It is more of an essy-style book than a cookbook. I should have the review on ChefTalk within the next few weeks. Have you checked out Charlie Palmer's new book? The Art of Aureole is a funky, ecclectic collection of recipes that harken back to a Trotter-esque reality. Of course if you need a laugh, be sure to check out Jeffrey Steingarten's It Must Have Been Something I Ate:the return of the man that ate everything. It is a 'must have,' as far as I am concerned.