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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice - Trevor Corson,  Brian Nishii This is two intertwined narratives, one interesting, one not. The uninteresting narrative is an account of a sushi training academy that doesn’t ring true for two reasons: First, the focal character, Kate, does nothing right until she is fairly advanced in her program. For someone who wants to work in sushi preparation, she and her classmates know less about sushi than I do as a casual consumer of Japanese food. Second, the knowledge deficits of Kate and company too neatly serve the structure of the book, providing the hook on which the interesting exposition hangs. Though the book identifies a website where one can see photos of these people, the audio version doesn't explain the author's relationship to them. Who are they to him? Did he follow them for three months? Reconstruct from interviews? Make up a tale based on some other source?The part of the book that works well is the informational/descriptive sections, though early on I almost stopped listening when the author referred to ATP in the cells as "power pellets." This is a mystifying description and weirdly oversimplified given that he frequently references osmotic processes, amino acids, and the like. Perhaps the author was advised that the book would draw more readers if he associated the explanations about dashi, eels, and Japanese food preservation with a human story. This might work, but not if I don’t believe in this particular set of characters. I did read this as an audiobook so it’s hard to check my recollection, but I come away with the impression that Kate is tolerated in the class because she is cute and wears tight clothes. Perhaps the real barrier to being a female sushi chef is that the profession, judging by this narrative at least, requires a great deal of oogling female patron’s breasts.