A surprisingly funny but very thorough look at contemporary food trends. Each chapter has a slightly different angle, so it doesn't get redundant. Cup...moreA surprisingly funny but very thorough look at contemporary food trends. Each chapter has a slightly different angle, so it doesn't get redundant. Cupcakes focused on how (and how quickly) a craze can spread. The bacon chapter was about economics, finally explaining exactly what pork belly futures are. Food trucks are an opportunity to look at the political and regulatory side of things. Etc. Questionable health fads and functional foods, like chia and acai and pomegranates, get their space, and we visit a fancy food show.
I was surprised that the chapter on Indian cuisine -- how it has been in almost-trend limbo for decades -- didn't mention Tasty Bites. And I was uncomfortable with his digs at his health-nut father. They weren't quite affectionate, and this isn't a memoir.
Sample quote from an industry executive: "Slowly but surely, the kale salad will make its way to TGI Friday's menu, then McDonald's, Kraft, and, eventually, as a Doritos flavor." (less)
This book was a hoot. I love epistolary novels as a format and funny is always a nice change of pace. My mother was a paralegal and the professional a...moreThis book was a hoot. I love epistolary novels as a format and funny is always a nice change of pace. My mother was a paralegal and the professional aspects of it rang very true. This really is more about the divorce case than the plucky young heroine's personal life. I think shoes only came up in conversation once, shopping never, and the young women manage to pass the Bechtel test. (Do conversations about fathers get a pass there? All things considered.) I appreciated that the personal life tangents were realistic and the strands did not coincidentally converge into one nice neat wrap-up. The child is your standard precocious cliche but even veteran novelists have trouble avoiding that one. (less)
Despite the 'Lifelong Success' part of the title, this is a pretty mellow guidebook. Parents are repeatedly urged to just let their toddlers play rath...moreDespite the 'Lifelong Success' part of the title, this is a pretty mellow guidebook. Parents are repeatedly urged to just let their toddlers play rather than structured educational activities. (Bonus: Play is basically free.) If you already have (or had) a toddler, there will be a mix of things you're doing right and things you're doing wrong, but again, it's all pretty mellow and no long-term harm done. (Our big sin is a lack of routine, but she's not unusual or controversial there.)
There's an extended discussion on (not) shaming your child that is treated pretty seriously and is one of the more out-there elements of the book. An awful lot of basic correction falls under that term, which is not clearly defined. (But this was not a final edit edition.) Apparently you also shouldn't try to make them share before the age of 4, which is also a little permissive for most of today's parents. That part is more clearly explained, at least.
I did like the message that your job is not to make your child happy. Pretty much everything makes them happy. Mud puddles, for example. Your job is to teach them to cope with unhappiness. Also there were a few good reminders about recognizing when you're applying baggage from your own childhood, like scolding your child for something you really don't care about, simply because it did bother your own mother.(less)
It was fine and had some practical, easy-to-implement advice. It's more corporate than I need. Not the type of personally inspirational style that jus...moreIt was fine and had some practical, easy-to-implement advice. It's more corporate than I need. Not the type of personally inspirational style that justifies my buying it to reread every so often. But that's so individual. Others, it will totally speak to.(less)