The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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May 31, 2018

Sidebar-snooping ...



Of all the ways that I find books to read, sidebar-snooping -- new books, books that others are reading, or have just read -- is probably my favorite. :) As soon as I saw this one on Darlene's blog, even before she had a chance to tell us about it, not knowing anything about it, or not ever having read anything by Julian Barnes, I went looking for it, and happily found it. The title was pretty irresistible, but of course the source had a lot to do with it, too. (I love this cover, and I'm always sorry when library books don't have the dust jackets on them. :)

This is a short, delightful book, by a novelist who has come to cooking in middle age, and rambles and rants (gently) about everything from imprecise instructions {how big is a medium onion? of course, a reference like that requires one to examine all of the onions in the drawer side by side to find the medium ones}, to how many cookbooks are too many, to his favorite food writers, to recipes from chefs and restaurants that are impossible or improbable to make at home {I have a favorite pasta recipe that requires me to cut two pints of cherry tomatoes in half; he writes about one that suggested that he slice and de-seed five pounds of them, or approximately 300). As Darlene said, it was very funny in places, too ... all in all, a perfect vindication of my sidebar-snooping habit, so thank you, everyone, for that.


The Pedant in the Kitchen, by Julian Barnes
Atlantic Books, 2003
Borrowed from the college library 


2 comments:

Cosy Books said...

So glad you enjoyed this, Audrey! I first spied it on a shelf in a workroom at the library....it stopped me in my tracks because I had no idea Barnes had written anything of the kind. And I can't tell you how many books are on my shelves via sidebar snooping.

JoAnn said...

This sounds wonderful! Julian Barnes is such a good writer. Unfortunately my library does not have it, so I'll keep an eye out on my travels.

Thank you for visiting!

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