Discover more from Eating an Island
December à la Carte: Now Reading, Now Read
Writing on scorched rice, champagne, mental health and more. Plus some thoughts on rereading Bourdain.
Despite the recent rant, I love the holidays, especially this part. For me, the fifty-second week is the Sunday of the year: a time to rest, reflect and ready ourselves. -JRS
We got plenty of great writing for Christmas.
Niko Stratis, All I Want for Christmas
Heartfelt reflection on longing for community at Christmastime.
Tammie Teclemariam, Veuve Clicquot is Not a Good Champagne
I mean, if you’re going to throw shade, throw it well – as Teclemariam does here.
Nour Abi-Nakhoul, Why Did I Think Ketamine Could Cure My Depression?
Some much-needed nuance in mental health discourse. (See also: P.E. Moskowitz, The BuzzFeedification of Mental Health.)
Ligaya Mishan, The Thrilling Dare of Scorched Rice
What I want from food writing: a) depth of knowledge b) the ability to write well. A glorious example thereof.
Rereading some Bourdain classics confirmed my initial thoughts on those books, all those years ago.
Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential
For all its problems, this book remains a thrilling read. Terrific, tight writing that pulses with the energy and New Jersey-turned-New York attitude that came to characterize Bourdain’s best work.
Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw
More like undercooked, amirite? ( 🥁) A portfolio of first-drafty prose that sags with Bourdain’s world-weariness, drained of the verve and focus of his prior books.
Laurie Woolever and Anthony Bourdain, World Travel: An Irreverent Guide
Curious. A collection of cursory thoughts on places you might travel to, could you travel – like any guide, however, it’ll be outdated by the time you next step on a plane. Unless you are the most hardcore, must-have-it Bourdain-o-phile, borrow or browse in a bookstore before buying.
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
The best writing on writing I’ve read. Aside from the insight on the craft, the prose itself is masterful. Read to understand where the bar is.
Eva Crocker, All I Ask
A compelling portrait of the listless lives of young people in this city prior to the pandemic. Check it out for the dialogue alone: Crocker has an ear for how people actually communicate, i.e. over and around one another, not with.