Monday, February 25, 2013

Title: A Storm of Swords 
Author: George R. R. Martin
Genre: fantasy

Yowzers! I am going to be real vague in this review so I don't accidentally give out any spoilers, but if there are any GofT fans that haven't read this book when Season 3 starts on HBO next month, they are going to be shocked and upset by some of the plot developments... Let me just say that there were  a lot of "Say what?!" moments with a cliffhanger ending that had me thinking, "How is that possible?" Unfortunately, I couldn't start book 4 right away because I had to go bed (it was around midnight) and I had to be at work the next day...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Title: Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows
Author: Kathleen Collins
Genre: non-fiction, food history, American history

Think lack of cooking skills is a recent, generational problem? Think again! Americans have been culinary-challenged since the early-to-mid twentieth century and in this book Kathleen Collins explores the combination of media and culinary skills.
While we have Food Network, our grandmothers listened to home ec radio shows to get their cooking tips. When TVs became a "must-have" household item, the home ec radio shows evolved into visual cooking shows. Cooking shows in the 1950's to 1970's were more somber and educational than they are now. Cooking shows as entertainment didn't come to fruition until the 1990's- when the Food Network was created. The various cooking shows over the past five decades have helped the American palate to become more sophisticated and more open to a variety of flavors and cuisines.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Title: Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise and Adventurous Eater
Author: Matthew Amster-Burton
Genre: non-fiction, cookbook

When my son was between 1 year and 2 years old, he ate anything we gave him. Growing up as a picky eater, I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking I had dodged the pciky-eater bullet. That changed when my son turned two; pickiness abounded. He's almost five: some days he's picky and some days he's ravenous. The newest food fad for him is to look at food without tasting it and declaring it "yucky." (Since we don't use the word "yucky" to describe food I'm guessing he picked up this phrase from his classmates.)

Enter Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton; this is not an advice book for parents of picky eaters but a memoir of his daughter's food journey for the first 4 years of her life. The end of each chapter contains kid-friendly recipes- not the usual kid-friendly recipes. Amster-Burton is a freelance food writer and also experienced food elation when his one year old daughter ate everything in sight. When Iris turned two she also turned picky. At first Amster-Burton was baffled but he has now learned how to roll with Iris' changing food likes and dislikes.