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Summer reading for foodies includes Anthony Bourdain, Michael Pollan

What are you reading this summer? I’m up to about three or four books a week at this point. Some are just fluffy page-turners while others give me a deep dive into a topic I want to learn more about. Any book with mentions of food and drink gets my attention. I find it interesting when fiction writers pay a lot of attention to what their characters eat and drink. It brings those characters into sharper focus for me.

Here are some of the books I’ve read so far this summer, so take a look and maybe one or two will spark your interest.

“World Travel: An Irreverent Guide illustrated Edition”

Even if we can’t go to some of the world’s wonderful places, this book by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco, April 20, 2021) is a transporting read. Experience the world, Bourdain-style through essays by the chef and food writer as well as by guest writers and friends. He offers information on how to get to and around so places including Manila, Toronto, Hanoi, and Austin. You’ll also get advice on what to eat, of course. The illustrations by by Wesley Allsbrook are great, too.

"World Travel" by Anthony Bourdain

From the food journalist who explored how the four classic elements transform nature into things to eat in “Cooked” and gave us “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” comes “This is Your Mind on Plants” by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, July 6, 2021) which dives into three psychoactive plants – mescaline, opium and caffeine. In it, he tries to grow poppies and gives up caffeine, discusses taboos and experiences these plants from different angles including historical, scientific and participatory. I learned so much about caffeine and its contribution to different cultures and eras, including the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

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