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 


Cosy Books said...

So glad you enjoyed this, Audrey! I first spied it on a shelf in a workroom at the 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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