Favourite books of Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is an American food journalist, author, and columnist for The New York Times.

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Favorite books of Mark Bittman:

Despite the title, this is not actually a reference book but a personal collection of observations and judgments. That’s ok: it’s done with wit and care, and will inspire (and probably anger) any veteran cook who’s looking to explore new ingredients and flavor pairings.

A career flavor scientist who has worked with such companies as Lindt, Coca-Cola and Cadbury organizes food flavors into 160 basic ingredients, explaining how to combine flavors for countless results, in a reference that also shares practical tips and whimsical observations.

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

Mark Bittman recommends The Pale King

It’s not Infinite Jest, not even close. But Joseph Heller never wrote anything as good as Catch-22 either. The unfinished work by perhaps the most brilliant novelist of the turn of the century period is pretty great.

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has. The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions--questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society--through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

A new look at feminism, which means everything that has to do with gender and sex, written by someone who is younger than my own kids. One has to push the envelope a bit!

Shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize 2014 Smart, clear-eyed, and irreverent, Unspeakable Things is a fresh look at gender and power in the twenty-first century, which asks difficult questions about dissent and desire, money and masculinity, sexual violence, menial work, mental health, queer politics, and the Internet. Celebrated journalist and activist Laurie Penny draws on a broad history of feminist thought and her own experience in radical subcultures in America and Britain to take on cultural phenomena from economic justice and the Occupy movement to online dating and freedom of speech. Unspeakable Things is a book that is eye-opening not only in the critique it provides, but also in the alternatives it imagines.

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