Like the first Ripley book, an oddly written and odd story but a weirdly absorbing and enjoyable read. Maybe you could call it a crime story for peoplLike the first Ripley book, an oddly written and odd story but a weirdly absorbing and enjoyable read. Maybe you could call it a crime story for people who don't like crime stories? (I usually don't). Not earth-shatteringly good but worth grabbing at the library for a rainy weekend. ...more
I have to agree with Irina's review of this book. Kaminer's no timeless, earthshaking writer but you have to admit, he tells a good anecdote - the kinI have to agree with Irina's review of this book. Kaminer's no timeless, earthshaking writer but you have to admit, he tells a good anecdote - the kind where, while reading them, you might shake your head a bit at the silliness, but that you then find yourself retelling on more than one occasion, with as much conviction as if they had actually happened to someone you know.
The book is a collection of Kaminer newspaper columns about living the foreigner's life in Berlin - he came to Berlin in 1990 from his native Moscow - and, as weekly columns, they naturally repeat themselves quite a bit. But they're funny enough that you forgive him, especially if you're also struggling along as a foreigner in Berlin, or perhaps anywhere, for that matter.
This book is available in English as well as the original German.
Amendment: I'm adding a note on March 25, 2008.
I was just listening to some recordings of Kaminer reading other books of his, and found out that he basically says the same thing about his writing as Irina and I did. He said that while he's not a great writer of German, there are some musicians who are not great guitar players, but they whale away on their guitars with such passion that people are like, Wow, that's great music. So his thing is to just whale away on the German language with enough passion that people will like his stories....more
This is the 25th anniversary edition of an absolute classic - the first authoritative book for Westerners on Japanese cooking, written by the founderThis is the 25th anniversary edition of an absolute classic - the first authoritative book for Westerners on Japanese cooking, written by the founder of a revered Japanese cooking academy.
I read most of this book but haven't cooked much out of it yet besides Dashi (seaweed/tuna stock; base for most Japanese soups) and Miso Soup, so I'll have to report back on the results of the recipes another time, but the reading experience alone is worth spending time with this book. It is beautifully put together with very detailed illustrations, clear typography (surprising large type size, very helpful actually), and a pretty pale lavendar binding.
The writing is also clear, direct and fascinating while absolutely free pretension or presumption. It explains not only the practice but the theory and even philosophy of Japanese cooking. It also is very empathetic of the fact that the reader is coming from a Western background and has to deal with the limitations of what equipment and ingredients might be available in a Western country, suggesting passable substitutions and ways to jury-rig cooking setups, while also warning against those substitutions that will doom your cooking to inauthentic mediocrity. ...more