For Christmas this year, I got a little gift certificate from work, to spend at Amazon. What did I want? Well, books! I wrote about this a week or so ago, how my initial foray into selecting a few fun reads was stymied by the state of anthropology these days. I weep for it… but I dug into the used book stacks and wound up finding a few that fit within my budget and seemed to be useful for my purposes. So, what is that purpose?
Yes, I am planning a cookbook. Yes, I said that last year. Last year was… not kind to plans. This year? I have a stable job, a home, my child is on track with school and not fighting me every step of the way. My husband is present and supportive. I think, perhaps, I can make this happen. At any rate, I can start working on the project. Besides which, this is the sort of thing I find fun and intellectually stimulating and I am very much looking forward to it. Research!
These are the four books I ‘unwrapped’ on Christmas morning. Harris’s Good to Eat seems to be a classic in the food anthropology world. Revels’s Culture & Cuisine looks to be another foundational work. Wolke’s What Einstein Told His Cook is a popular science book, and is more about the science in cooking than the anthropology of it. Lastly, I made an error in the Food and Culture Reader. I thought I was getting the 1997 original edition, and instead this is the 2008 version, with rather a lot of socio-political nonsense. I’ll have to wade through it and see if anything in there is worth my time, as it looks like much of the original papers and essays included were removed to make room for ‘issues’ that are activism rather than sound research. I’m disappointed, but I knew when I ordered that the chances of getting in a stinker or two were high. Still! The bibliography may be worth the entry price.
It certainly was with the ebook I picked up alongside these. I parlayed the Kindle Points system into quite a bit of credit towards ebook purchases, alongside early Christmas shopping that garnered me digital rewards I’ve been saving towards ebook purchases, and picked up two books to go along with the hard copies. First, Delicious: the Evolution of Flavor and How it Made Us Human looks like it will be interesting, but the references in the introduction had me searching Project Gutenberg and securing a copy of Brillat-Savarin’s The Physiology of Taste; Or, Transcendental Gastronomy and late Christmas evening I found myself devling into this with great amusement. It should be a interesting read, indeed! I also bought Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking, if for no other reason that it’s $2 as ebook. Why not?
In essence, then I have a lovely stack of Christmas books to nibble on for some time to come, slowly working my way through and making notes. I anticipate much enjoyment to come! I’ll do full reviews as I finish books, in case any of my readers want to follow me down this research rabbit-hole.
In the meantime, though, if you are looking for a post-Christmas book to read, you can pick up a copy of Vulcan’s Kittens, with fresh cover and editing, for free this week. If you already own it, and enjoyed reading it, do me a favor? Share it with friends and family who might want to pick up a free book and try my work out?
Vulcan’s Kittens is part of the Stocking Your EReader sale, which will have dozens of books that are free, or $0.99, through the week. Perfect timing for the new year, and spending any Amazon credits you have lying around. Check it out, you might find a new author or two.