BookSweetie's Reviews > Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

Cod by Mark Kurlansky
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May 28, 2011

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bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in May, 2011

What did I do after finishing this biography of the fish that changed the world? Of course! I began obsessing about eating some COD -- even as I realized that the supply of cod has diminished drastically over the centuries and, almost certainly, hasn't fully rebounded since this book was published in the 90s.

So I face a dilemma: how can I, a cod-lover for decades, encourage others to read this (pretty good!) book and maybe also start obsessing about eating their very own cod dinner, too? Ay ay ay. So I compromised on the star rating and stayed with three. I could easily give it another half, but, well, that option isn't available.

Now, some true confessions: I did urge the family cook to head with me down the road to our village fish market that was just opening for the season, and, yes, came away with some splendid firm white COD just off the boat from Chatham. Oh, the fresh cod was fabulous with lemon butter. Although I have enjoyed cod previously, certainly I appreciated my meal even more because of this little gem of a book.

If you don't know much about cod, its role in history and international relations or how Huxley's powerful influence contributed to endangering this fish, you will if you spend just a few hours reading this book. And you will hear about the cod wars and the cod clubs, too. (Is there one near you?)

A final true confession: I did read the largely historic cod recipes/references scattered throughout, but I can't think of any compelling reason for readers short on time to follow my example -- especially if they have no hope of finding some cod to eat right away (with or without a dash of guilt).

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