I wish I could add every book I read to my personal library, but we are very very much out of space at the moment. While I am starting to really want a Kindle, many combined factors make that impractical right now. I have books stacked up everywhere that don’t have a home. I can’t double shelve any more. I’m not sure where to put them but am unsure if the stacks next to my bed are a good idea for when I tumble out sleepy eyed at 5:30a. I’m knitting up as much of my stash as I can to perhaps free up some space, but as yarn isn’t stored in places books could easily go I’m not sure how useful that will be.
Following the jump are the books I finished and wrote up reviews for this past week. I am working on standardising how I write these book posts. I’m also considering changing the template I use yet again. Question: do you read my posts through an RSS reader and rarely bother to click through or do you go to the main page? Or do you just click through to the single post if you decide you want to comment? *I* rarely visit my own site so I’m contemplating what aspects of the design I should focus on.
Woods & Waters Wild
by Charles de Lint
Subterranian Press, 2009
Hardcover, 300 pages
This collection of deLint’s short stories was my first active introduction to his writings. I’m not quite sure what prompted me to request this volume from the library. Perhaps it was an announcement found in the RSS feed of Subterranian Press I started following a while back that prompted me. Perhaps, well, who knows, I was only disappointed when i realized I was out of pages to read. I think the stories surrounding “Thomas the Rhymer” are currently my favourites and I look forward to exploring more of his work in the future.
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs
by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburge
Little, Brown and Company, 2008
Hardcover, 392 pages
It started with a tweet from casey and off I went. A hold request was placed and it came into my local library branch a short time later. I’ve been pouring over this book since and stressing over where I’ll put it when I buy a copy for myself (We really do not have the space right now. It’s a major problem we’re working to solve.) Over the twenty or so years I’ve been cooking, I’ve learned to grow and use my spice collection to enhance what I’m making, but I am still learning how best to use and pair the foods I want to put together into a nice coherent meal instead of one-pot wonder.
This volume helps me with all of that. Interspersed throughout are beautiful and tantalizing photographs of food and example dishes (no recipes) from menus of famous restaurants and quotes from renowned chefs. That’s what makes it special.
This is not a cookbook. It is not for you if you want to be told “when making mac & cheese use should use X tablespoons of milk + Y of this cheese + Z of that and a PDQ of these spices, oh and while you’re at it boil A cups of water with a dash of salt for B minutes with C amount of elbow macaroni”. You will be disappointed. If however, you visit the Green Market and bring home a variety of what caught your eye that day and are wondering how much of it might be put together into a meal, you can then flip through and be reminded that brussel sprouts go well with apple cider (good thing you picked up some), or that cheddar cheese likes apples, pears, black pepper… and mustard, something you always forget.
While the format is beneficial for those, like me, who love to browse the library (or bookstore) shelves and make random but related picks of interest, the cross-referencing and layout would benefit a bit of revision to make it easier to use (I think much of the joy of this would be lost if it only available in a database, though Big Oven could benefit from adding similar information to their product.) I know that if I was working with a copy that lived permanently on my shelves as opposed to a library copy it would immediately be covered in post-its, index tabs, index cards, and various notes and scribbles (not to mention stray drippings) along with the beginnings of a personalized index.
I believe this is a wonderful book for those who stand in the kitchen and look around and wonder “how could I put this all together”?