As I am sure you know, since you have clearly done a lot of study, the science weighs in favor of nitrates/nitrites and I personally have no particular fear of them. I always feel sorry for the people paying big prices for the "no nitrites added" bacon, not knowing that it is full of nitrites from the celery juice. What a fraud. And all because of an unfounded fear of an abundant substance.
But that isn't why I wanted to comment. I share your interest in making things like bacon, and this book was my guide to first accomplishing this. I found the book to be adequate, and interesting, although I too noticed some minor problems. (A trip to the Internet helped me to resolve questions about cure rates.) It also introduced me to making things I had not considered. Sadly, few books are perfect, especially in these days of less than adequate editing, but I am glad I have this one on my bookshelf.
Based on your suggestions, I will probably be ordering one or both of the books you recommend (although not right away, as I just ordered several of James Peterson's excellent books to round out my collection of his works). I am also intrigued by the The River Cottage Meat Book , which appears to have material on preserving and storing meat, as well as other potentially useful information. One thought, you might want to change your book suggestions to product links - it makes it easier for people to check them out, and I have a sneaky suspicion that it boosts your ratings in Amazon's secret formula.
Thanks for the review, and I hope you have better sources for pork bellies where you are than I have found where I live (1 butcher who has them sometimes!). Take Care, and Bon Appétit .