In the words of one of your more famous humans, “Winter is coming.” And despite my desires when winter comes this bear hibernates. Thus over the summer, I read and I try to read a lot. This summer has been no different. I thought I would share with you some of the reads that captured my attention and time, good and bad.
First up is Tuf Voyaging by G.R.R. Martin. Tuf Voyaging is first only because this is the book I am reading at the moment. Allow me to say that I started the book last night, which is about a human nicknamed Tuf, his cats, his most remarkable ship, and his adventures, and as of today I am 259 pages in, leaving me with just about 200 more pages to go. Tuf Voyaging is an earlier work of Martin’s, unlike Game of Thrones this book follows the adventures of one man and his cats. The book is also a lot lighter in tone, even funny at times, than Game of Thrones. I find Tuf Voyaging to be a good romp.
The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman, is next. Interested in what being enrolled in a culinary school, The Culinary Institute of America in this case, is like? Then read this book, while Ruhlman is not an official student, essentially a reporter reporting on being a student, he gets involved in becoming a student. The transformation from reporter into student into someone deeply interested in cooking is compelling. As an added plus, there are a great many tips about cooking throughout the book, within the story he tells. Making of a Chef is the first of three volumes, in case you were curious, but I only found that out recently.
Detroit An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff is a punch to the gut, a few punches to the gut. If you live in or around Detroit, or like me have lived in and around Detroit, reading about the decline of the city is one thing, but a whole other when you have been to the locations he writes about. The book is about the decline of Detroit, the rise of the people who remain, the survival and day to day struggles of those left behind, and how the city impacted LeDuff. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in Detroit and lives somewhere where they think, “can’t happen to me.”
Chinese Hotpots by Martha Stone. I bought this book because I have an interest in making hot pot meals and learning about hot pots. This is not a book for learning about hot pots. The author loves the subject, that much comes through in her writing, but her information is sparse at best and laid out horribly at best. A couple of paragraphs that are very general about hot pots is not enough to establish that the author is an expert on hot pots. The recipes are a collection that I have seen elsewhere and laid out to be very sparse on the instructions and hard to use, with ingredients on the front of a page and the instructions on the back.
The Top 100 Cheap Eats by Hilaire Waldon. This is one of those small, tiny even, cookbooks that is a collection of recipes that the author likes with lots of colorful photos and like most of them ends up on the bargain shelf, in this case for $3. That is why I bought this book and I was not expecting anything at all. Thus imagine my surprise when I find a bunch of recipes that I have been looking for, mostly variations on satay at first, in this book. This is a nice collection of recipes with no real connection to each other, which is what makes this cookbook good. That and the cheap price.
I think that is enough for now, there are other books, some of which I have written about here and on Scrawlings, such as Understanding Media by Marshal McLuhan, and some really good cookbooks. Maybe next time.