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« November, 2011 »
People of the Book

Ask MetaFilter had a thread with someone asking for historical type mysteries, listing other books I’d read and enjoyed. This book was suggested and my sister is a Brooks fan so I figured I’d try it out. Loved it. It’s a historical fiction piece about a book restorer working on some of the “who/what/where/why” stuff concerning the Sarajevo Hagaddah. The lead character is an interesting and unusual Australian woman and she travels the world doing research and finding clues. I have to say I was worried that this book would trail off into some sort of romance or other pat historical wrap-up but the ending of the book actually caused me to enjoy the build-up to the ending that much more.

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

A short, interesting to read book by Michael Pollan who wanted to sum up what he’d learned about food and nutrition and make it into bite-sized bits of information. So here, on one rule per page or so, are the things he’s learned. These aren’t just “aw shucks” bits of folk wisdom, this is stuff that has science and real background behind it, but is delivered in ways you can easily understand and abide by. Pollan is not an enemy of birthday cake, he just wants us to make generally smarter choices with our eating to be healthier and live disease-free longer.

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

Loved this. A little book full of interesting anecdotes about a lot of stuff I knew almost nothing about, or things I thought I knew something about (tassels?) but didn’t really. Each entry is a few pages or less and I defy anyone to not find something interesting about each and every entry, even the ones that look like they might not be very interesting at all (strong?). Best of all, there’s a rich bibliography at the end of it so if a particular entry strikes your fancy you can go read about it to your heart’s content. It’s tough to write a good book about niche-y little subjects like this without everything sounding precious or twee and Jenkins does a wonderful job with it.