Thursday, April 18, 2013

Readsday, just under the wire!

....or not. I guess it might depend on which wire you're using.

What did you just finish reading?
Food Rules, by Michael Pollan, and Pandora's Lunchbox, by Melanie Warner, different books on the same topic that were both disappointing. Salt Sugar Fat sent me on a reinventing-diet kick (helped along by my slow-burning chronic pancreatitis suddenly going "HOLY FUCK WOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME"), and I was expecting Food Rules to help me with that, but this "book" is maybe about seventy pages in hardback plus nearly every facing page is an illustration -- and on the Kindle those illustrations are shrunk, so it's even shorter. The prose is like a cross between calendar notes and a blog post. I was so dissatisfied with it I got Amazon to suck it back out of my e-reader for a refund (which hasn't posted yet, altho they debited my bank account immediately when I bought it. WTG, Amazon!).

Pandora's Lunchbox wasn't that bad, but it was just sort the moment you're chewing through the last half of your TV dinner or fast-food burger and realize it doesn't actually taste that good. Her over-reliance on the "soccer mom" audience for her writing and her would-be witty snarking are both just tiresome after a while. Unlike Salt Sugar Fat, I had a hard time remembering anything from this book after finishing it.

What are you reading now?
The apparent grandaddy of all Your Shitty Food Is Poisoning You literature, Michael Pollan -- I'm in the middle of The Omnivore's Dilemma (2006) and reluctantly got In Defense of Food (2008) after I read reviews saying Food Rules (2009) was based on it. I appreciate all the work he's done and the important topics his writing brings up, but a lot of the time his style is just too fucking twee to believe, like an ecological version of an Anthropologie catalogue. You can read along with some of my would-be witty snarking here. Since I'm apparently finding the first two sections a lot more tedious than most people did, I'm dreading the final third of the book where he apparently kills his very own dinner by wrestling a steer to the ground by the horns, or something. 

What do you expect to read next?
Probably In Defense of Food,  altho I might need a break from Pollan's goddamn prose style. I might go for either an Anne Carson or the new ebook by a friend of mine, A Cup of Smoke (check out that go-jus cover).