The Unreserved Pleasures of Reading

Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain , by Anthony Bourdain

If you’ve ever watched No Reservations, a travel and food show hosted by Anthony Bourdain, then you have “Tony’s” voice in your head as you read this book, the one that made him famous enough to be made host of his own show(s). He has a trademark writer’s voice, too – a little too cool for his own good, but genuinely racked-out sounding and with a certainhardcore urbanity and something that sounds like a foodie-sensualist’s version of Beat Poetry on his summing-up monologues.

I’m a fast reader, so it’s not unusual for me to sail through a book in a solid few hours of steady reading. I wanted to slow down and savor some things, and skim others just to see what happens next in Bourdain’s description of his own life and career. It’s the first time that I’ve read a “foodie” book, and was surprised to find it such a page-turner. But not all that surprised, because I knew that Bourdain could write in a way that makes you want to know more about him, yet doesn’t reveal all his secrets atonce.

I like reading books by writers who can really tell you something about themselves that’s true and authentic, in their own unique voice. I can’t write anything like that, but admire anyone who can.

Next up, case in point: Uncommon Carriers, by John McPhee.

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