Friday, January 18, 2008

Calloo, Callay, O Frabjous Day ...

I'm smiling because...
  • Tom's mom gave me a Borders gift certificate for Christmas and they've got a whole bunch of the Culinaria books on sale for $10 each. In a way this makes one think of an updating of the Time Life Foods of the World series (reviewed here) although these are done with less of each writer's personality and more continuity between volumes. These books look at the cuisines of countries in depth. When I say "in depth" think about 450 pages, oversized, covering every aspect of culture that relates to food. In short, a foodie's dream. Until now only the hardbacks have been available and they are huge. I mean to say, you don't want to fall asleep reading one because you'd be crushed to death when it fell on you. Sadly, I heard that the original company went out of business but that means the series was picked up by another printer and is being republished in paperback. It is still high quality printing on heavy paper and still huge but at least you can read it on bed without being injured.
Book reports
  1. The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket by Trevor Corson *** ... you will believe that sushi can be interesting! Which I wouldn't have before hearing a Barnes and Noble podcast interviewing this author ... so I got it from the library. A thoroughly entertaining read that shows not only the history of sushi but takes us through a sushi chef class with all the students. Very good indeed.

  2. The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones**** ... much like Julia Child's "My Life in France" (reviewed here) this is a nostalgic journey in the way America cooked from the past to present. Judith Jones is the famous Knopf editor whose love of food and cooking allowed her to sniff out such great food writers as Julia Child, James Beard, Marion Cunningham, Irene Kuo, Marcella Hazen and many more. Not only is this a wonderful look at Jones' life and the foodways of America, but her thinking on food is quite firmly stated ... and delightfully sane and common-sensical it is. Highly recommended.
A partial cross-posting from Happy Catholic. More reasons to smile and more book reports may be found here.

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