From Vaccines to Vanilla: Getting to the Heart of Our Obsession with “Natural”

An unexpected benefit of lockdown (we have to take little joys where we find them) has been getting to virtually snoop through people's bookshelves in Zoom meetings. Some journalists have done the good work of putting together lists of titles they've spotted on shelves during interviews. Dr. Fauci's books made it into one of these... Continue Reading →

Nonfiction Favorites From the Backlist

I think I look forward more to putting together my list of backlist favorites each year than the new releases. What was better for you this year -- new releases or older nonfiction? Borrowed Finery, by Paula Fox - Children's novelist Fox's memoir is brilliant, especially for memoir that's non-linear and kind of hazy in... Continue Reading →

Two Looks At American Cuisine

As I mentioned in Nonfiction November, one of my favorite reading categories -- food history and foodoirs -- has been one of my least-read genres this year, and I ended up abandoning most of the titles I picked up. Nevertheless, I did read a few good ones, especially looking at American cuisine. Let's discuss! The... Continue Reading →

Second Helpings of Pancakes from Paris

Let Them Eat Pancakes, by Craig Carlson (Amazon) In his first memoir, the delightful Pancakes in Paris, Californian Craig Carlson details his life-changing journey of opening "my diner in a foreign country, with a foreign language, which also happened to be the culinary capital of the world." It made for an entertaining, sarcastic but heartwarming... Continue Reading →

In the Dictators’ Kitchens

How to Feed a Dictator, by Witold Szabłowski, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Amazon / Book Depository) Polish journalist Witold Szabłowski saw a movie about army cooks that featured Branko Trbovic, the personal cook to Marshal Josip Broz Tito, "the absolute ruler of Yugoslavia" and describes it as being a lightbulb moment: "I started wondering what... Continue Reading →

Three New Foodoirs

I only finished two of these, but I'm going to tell you about all three anyway. First up is a new release that's a read-in-one-sitting deal, in case you want a quick but fairly intense and even gritty read: Phyllis Grant's Everything is Under Control. Grant was a dancer training at Julliard, living in New... Continue Reading →

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