If you like vodka and books and are located somewhere within driving distance of Barrington, RI, then you need to head over to Barrington Books tomorrow night to hear from Vodka: A Global History author Patricia Herlihy!
Hear Sex and Buildings author Richard J. Williams discuss his search “for the places form meets libido” in this Times Higher Ed podcast! THE calls the book “an adventurous sex-travelogue, beautifully written and pleasurable from cover to cover.”
A hint: with whiskey.
This fall’s The Modern Art Cookbook opens a window into the lives of artists, writers, and poets in the kitchen and the studio throughout the twentieth century and beyond. From Joyce to Manet, Mary Ann Caws explores a panoply of artworks of food, cooking, and eating from Europe and the Americas, while supplying numerous recipes from these artists.
This week the Huffington Post features a slideshow of these artworks and recipes from this “mouthwatering” book, calling it “the perfect gourmet tour through art history.” Enjoy a first look at this gorgeous volume!
"As Ribbat points out, neon has often become the site of dispute between those who want to celebrate modernity and those who resist it. Its bright glow screams artifice. However, the paradox is that neon lightmaking is an artisanal craft."
Slate discusses the complicated history of neon in this review of Christoph Ribbat’s “intriguing” Flickering Light.
Fittingly, July is National Hot Dog Month. Most foods only get a day, but hot dogs are special. With the Fourth of July, afternoons at the ballpark, and summer evening cookouts (let’s ignore that it’s sixty degrees today), ye olde frankfurters are a staple of the season. As Bruce Kraig reports in Hot Dog: A Global History, nearly two billion hot dogs are consumed by Americans annually in this month alone.
Here in Chicago, we will hit you with evil eyes if you get ketchup anywhere near your hot dog—what a perverse thing to do! Mustard and neon green relish are the only acceptable spreads. Kraig discusses our superior version, along with other regional varieties—like New York’s mustard and sauerkraut combo—and provides a lot of info about the origins of this all-American food. Pick up this “clever and entertaining” book (thanks, HuffPo!) and impress your friends/parents/date at your cookout tomorrow.
Have a safe and happy 4th!
This question, posed in a review by the UK’s Times, isn’t entirely the one that Erik Butler is trying to answer in his new book, The Rise of the Vampire (though it might be one we all ask ourselves—no offense, Twihards). But no one can deny that we have been surrounded by bloodsucking demons for the past five years, and Butler is out to explain why (he does have some things to say about Twilight, too).
As the Times writes, “Just to say the word ‘vampire’ now is to make some readers shudder, and not for the right reasons. But reading a new study—Erik Butler’s The Rise of the Vampire—we realise that was is interesting isn’t just the vampires themselves but why they appear in the first place.”
Popmatters.com continues the praise. “The breadth of Butler’s sources is a particular strength throughout the book… . The vampire is held up as a mirror to the human psyche, representing not only the unknown in others but also that which is unknowable in ourselves. It is for this reason that vampires have been such an enduring construct, and one which we have felt compelled to flesh out and adorn.”
From the sea to the sky, the color blue is quite literally (and figuratively) all around us. Carol Mavor reflects on the color in her new book, Blue Mythologies, in which she “draws upon many artists and writers” in her exploration of all things blue. Publishers Weekly calls out its beautiful illustrations, adding, “This fine, multidisciplinary work explores the color’s aesthetic and emotional resonances from a fresh perspective.”
Ever wondered what some of the world’s foremost television personalities have said about breakfast?
"And who is the man who loves Humperdinck’s lumpy pumpernickel crumpets beyond all things?”—Scooter (as Porthos), The Muppets
"Mmmm, forbidden donut."—Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
"Mmmm, noodle soup."—Joey Tribbiani, Friends
"Okay, this cereal has lost all its molecular integrity. I now have a bowl of shredded wheat paste."—Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
"I’m never gonna get used to the 31st century. Caffeinated bacon? Baconated grapefruit? ADMIRAL Crunch?”—Fry, Futurama
Okay, we jest a bit. But what all these foods has in common is that somewhere out there, they are eaten for breakfast (well, maybe not caffeinated bacon, but how amazing would that be?). In The Breakfast Book, Andrew Dalby tells the entire story of our morning meal, following the toast crumbs of its evolution throughout history—and, as Publishers Weekly writes in their review, it “presents a wonderful sampling of breakfasting around the world today, such as how they breakfast on churros in Spain or anise-flavored ground cereal in Libya… . Interesting details abound.”
“The author moves through history in a crablike fashion — from ancient and medieval stories to recent knowledge of the earth’s structure, but never through the shortest possible route of compare-and-contrast exposition. Alongside the fictional or legendary figures, more and more historical figures appear as the chapters proceed, bringing their speculations on stage.”
If you’re planning to celebrate Scotland’s national bard tomorrow eve, then you’ll have to do it without traditional haggis—sheep’s lung has been banned in the US since 1971. The BBC has some ideas of what Americans can do instead, but apparently none of these create the same texture (“‘It lacks the lightness the lungs help create.’”).
Even without the USDA ban, a lot of Americans probably aren’t used to eating lungs, which fall under the catch-all umbrella of offal—an animal’s glands, essential organs, skin, muscle, guts, and every unmentionable in between. Yum, right? But as Nina Edward explains in the upcoming Offal: A Global History, many of these dishes are given pretty names to veil their origins (nice try, “sweetbreads”). And offal seems to be becoming more and more trendy at American restaurants.
If you want to know more about this offal subject, snag a copy Edward’s book!
You didn’t think we’d leave you without a picture of haggis, did you? Feast your eyes on Haggis, Neeps and Tatties!
Hey kids, it’s National Pie Day! (Not to be confused with National Pi Day, which is March 14). Can we celebrate the fact that we live in a world with not one, but TWO days dedicated to the consumption of pie?
And if you haven’t yet, you should take some time out today to dive into Janet Clarkson’s Pie: A Global History. Learn some things, kiddies. It’s good for the soul. As is pie.