Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.



As always happens when it gets closer to the holidays (or just passes them) I ramp up the reading, getting nearly through 2 books on Christmas day alone (granted, one was small, the other was fluffy, but still...). And because I'm nothing, if not giving- I present "Stuff that I've been reading".

The first two books were lent to me by the Incomprable C (who, I will note, did not comment on my blog on her commit to commenting weekend...)Both are by Augusten Burroughs. Dry, the first book I read, tells us all about Augusten going to rehab, falling in (and eventually out of) love with a super-hot crackhead, and the loss of his best friend (but really so much more) Pighead. Combine all this with an incredibly fucked up background, a healthy dose of humor, and an easy storytelling style, and you have quite possibly one of the best books I've read this year.

And yes, I wept like a bastard when I read it. I dare you to keep a dry eye when Pighead dies.

And then there's Magical Thinking, a series of short interludes where we get to peek at Augusten's past and present. Overall a much lighter book, and his trip to Amish country made me giggle (even if he did get his town names mixed up). His ad background gives him the talent to pack so much detail & humor into a short turn of phrase, and it makes the book a total delight. Amazon warns you that Burroughs is mean and x rated- I didn't see that. Maybe it's because I'm a bit mean and x rated too? Who knows. I loved both books.

Next up? Anthony Bourdrain's Typhoid Mary. I will admit that I'm a philistine, as this is my first Bourdrain book. I swear I've rectified it- Kitchen Confidential is on order. This book is a bit of a departure from your standard "oh my Gawd! What an awful, dirty woman!" fare on Typhoid Mary. Going beyond the standard sensationalistic fare, Bourdrain examines things more from Mary's point of view, as a cook. And, all things considered, he does a pretty decent job. He makes the official who spent much of his time pursuing Mary look like the self-important little dillweed that he probably was, and gives you a chance (in his slim volume) to learn a little bit more about the circumstances Mary was in. (Fun fact- only 3 people died.) It's a quick little read. I'd check it out of the library, or pick it up used, but wouldn't pay full price for it.

And while on the subject of cooking, the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (which I've referenced previously) is really damned awesome. Just don't make the French Onion soup, as it sucks. I know the Incomprable C has declared a moratorium on "The Book" at work, but really, it's quite good, and I can't stress enough how nicely designed and laid out it is (and is a nice read too, if you're an oddball like me). The only gripe is the thinness of the pages, which will maybe be corrected in a future edition.

And for tonight's final book, John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise. Another one I'd probably suggest buying used, or borrowing. Don't get me wrong- Hodgman? Funny guy. You've probably heard him on NPR or seen him on the Daily Show- and in person? Absolutely hysterical. Part of it is totally his deadpan delivery- he's utterly convincing in his lies. On the page? Funny, but not quite as funny as in person. That said, the hobo names, all 700 of them? Brilliant. The werewolf moon tables? A hoot. The fact that the whole book is a damned lie? Awesome. So I endorse it, but wouldn't recommend paying full price if you can help it.

In the hopper: Shirley Corriher's Cookwise
which I've been meaning to buy since it came out and I was still a bookseller. Hugh Laurie's (Yes, THAT Hugh Laurie) The Gun Seller, and the aforementioned Kitchen Confidential. Reviews as I read 'em. Maybe.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home