I swung by the local library today as I had to renew my library loan for The Art of Eating.
More than 700 pages of culinary writing, and you had to swim through pages of adorations and critical reviews before you get to M.F.K. Fisher's writings proper. It's enjoyable, as Fisher explores the preparation, cultural history and philosophy of eating. She also writes movingly on her own gastronimical experiences, and how it is all tied up with desire and hunger. More on it later.
Anyway, while I was at the library, I picked up some other titles. Alessandro Baricco's An Iliad is finally available for loan. Baricco is an acclaimed Italian author whose books I have enjoyed recently. This is his rendition of Homer's epic through a more subjective angle.
If you're interested in Baricco other titles, look out for Silk - a historical novella set in the 1860s. French silkworm merchant Hervé Joncour travels to Japan where he falls under the spell of a beautiful woman.
Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It by Geoff Dyer. A travelogue that mentions yoga in the title. Okay, I'm easy bait.
Then there's Camilla Gibb's The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life. Recommended to me by someone who knows just how much I adore books about fucked up childhood and who also knows how much I enjoyed Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees.
And, in the vein of Turkey related readings, I picked up The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay. It's published by New York Review Books, and the reviews say it's humorous and well-written, as it chronicles the madcap travels of a group of eccentric characters from Istanbul to legendary Trebizond.
Finally, Freya Stark's Baghdad Sketches. I collect travellers as my heroes. Freya Stark is one of them. This is a collection of articles she wrote while travelling in Baghdad during the 1930s.