Booknotes from Our Staff

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House)

Foodies, rejoice! Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of the highly acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, has served up one deliciously riveting memoir. Beginning with childhood memories of her set designer father’s elaborate goat roasts, Hamilton takes us on a rollicking ride through the rocky shoals of adolescence, a solo trek through Europe (where her memory of a simple Grecian meal informs her future restaurant’s vision), a stint as a kid’s camp cook, seduction via homemade ravioli by an Italian man who becomes her husband, and summers in Italy with her new Italian family. This is a first rate tale of a food lover’s journey. –Laurie

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)

There is nothing funny about the colonization of a South Pacific archipelago. People died, diseases spread, ancient traditions and artifacts were damaged or lost altogether. Yet Vowell, arguably one of American history’s most popular commentators, still manages to put me in stitches as she captures uptight New England missionary attempts to Christianize the naked Hawaiian nation, right through its eventual installment into American statehood.

Vowell favors humor, both dark and dry, to recount the pitfalls and culture clash of Manifest Destiny. I only regret she didn’t teach every history course I almost dropped. –Dave

BOOKNOTES, the book review of THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published and forthcoming books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.


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