Category: Non fiction reviews

A Review of A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain

Does the idea of eating a still beating cobra heart and following it up with a blood chaser appeal to you? How about a potentially deadly puffer fish? Lamb gonads? Tete de veau (sweetbread stuffed calves face)? An old rubbery iguana? Birds nest soup? What about a sublime 20 course meal at The French Laundry in Napa Valley Ca, or roasted bone marrow at St. John restaurant, London. A Cook’s Tour is partly a foodie’s book, covering both the delectable and the disgusting, and it is also a travel book, tracing Boudain’s course through Tokyo, Vietnam, Cambodia, Portugal, Spain, France, Morocco, Russia, Mexico, California, Scotland, and England.

A review of Hilary McPhee’s Other People’s Words

 McPhee Gribble was a powerful voice in Australian publishing in the 70s and 80s, and their unique style of working, the partnerships with their authors, the intimacy, as well as the pitfalls they encountered, make for fascinating reader for anyone…

A review of Gail Bell’s The Poison Principle

Gail Bell takes the facts of this story about her grandfather, handed down through family folklore, hunted down obsessively in testimonials, newspaper clippings, bits of journals, and scattered artefacts, and turns it into a literary examination of the narrative of…

A Review of Helen Garner’s The Feel of Steel

Mastering a new sport, a musical instrument, having a grandchild, going through a divorce, or even taking a big trip, are all common scenarios in most people’s lives. These are ordinary moments, and that is why they are so wonderful.…

A review of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

 If you aren’t obsessed by exquisite food, amused by toilet humour and punkish slapstick, and don’t find the lives of the overworked, overpaid, talented, corrupt, and derelict cooks who turn out delicate dishes in New York’s fancy restaurants to be of interest, stop here. If, on the other hand, you have nerves of steel (think Basil in the Fawlty kitchens), a strong stomach for blood, gore, and dripping, and high tolerance of cuss words and adolescent antics (think the BBC’s Bottom, or Men Behaving Badly), along with a love of haute cuisine sans frou frou, you will enjoy Anthony Bourdain’s tell all memoir, Kitchen Confidential.

A Review of Net Words by Nick Usborne

“Nobody is paying close enough attention to the words on ecommerce sites.” Do you do any kind of online writing? Manage a web site? Run an ecommerce site? Write articles, newsletters, even send action oriented e-mails? If so, you really…

A review of Lily Brett’s New York

Lily Brett’s New York is a lighthearted, easy to read book which looks at life in New York from the perspective of an Australian who has been living in Manhatten for over ten years.