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A brief note about the book review rating scale:
When reviewing books, I will be using a modified version of my husband's book rating scale. Namely? The Leg Numbness Scale. What's this you ask? Well, (according to my husband), a good book will leave your legs completely numb (from sitting on the toilet) and a ring around your butt - you know, because you want to keep reading instead of getting off the toilet. So as a nod to my husband, here's a modified rating scale (1=poor to 5=great).

LEG NUMBNESS SCALE (aka: The Numbie Scale)

1: Feet barely hit the floor before your done.
2: Blood beginning to rush to your feet.
3: Tingling in legs starting.
4: Definite numbness in spots on legs.
5: Full toilet ring imprint on butt and can barely walk from total and complete numbness in legs because you had to stay to "read just one more chapter".


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Ok. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit: I love Anthony Bourdain. I loved him before I read the book, I still love him.

I first became acquainted with Anthony Bourdain when Ella was born and I would have to spend hours holding her because her reflux caused her to be in great pain when she would lie flat. What else was there to do but surf TV channels?!?

Anyway, on with the review!


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I was immediately interested in A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain. I like the show and the book was no disappointment. It's classic Bourdain - bitter, foul-mouthed, sarcastic humor with a well-rounded peppering of not only food information but geography and regional history, too.

If you like the show, you'll love the book. He goes into more behind-the-scenes moments that you would never know from the show - in one chapter, he describes how he and Zamir were completely drunk and then expected to re-tape the intro into the restaurant, in another he divulges how he teared up when he had to shoot a bunny rabbit for the show. The book is fantastically funny and completely disgusting all at the same time.

The only disappointment in the book is that sometimes his foody lingo was over my head (look, I only took 2 years of French, so I definitely can't decipher Foody French). Mostly, he does a good job of describing, and I found that it gets better as the book goes on. Early on however, I definitely needed a food dictionary guide (maybe one with pictures).


If you're looking for an entertaining and informative read (especially one that you can read a few pages and put down without that "what happened last time" feeling), then this book is for you. It should be required reading for culinary students because, after all, Anthony Bourdain is the master of all culinary bitterness and sarcasm. And no student should live without that influence in their life.

NUMBIE SCALE RATING: 4-1/2

2 comments

Jennifer said... @ 4:45 PM

I'm sure you're familiar, but just in case ... Mark Bittman, "The Minimalist," is the foodie for the NYT. He has a blog called Bitten — "A blog where Mark Bittman chews on food and all things connected to it."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/dining/13mini.html

He has weekly cooking videos online as well. Very funny guy who does really cool stuff with food.

Jackie said... @ 4:51 PM

OOOH, Jenn - look at you! I had not heard about "Bitten" - thanks for the great suggetion!

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