I’m not usually one to go into raptures over some newfangled book release (unless, of course, Salman Rushdie writes a blue-covered YA novel or Mark Twain’s autobiography hits shelves 100 years after his death), but ‘in raptures’ is the appropriate phrase to describe my feelings about Penguin’s new Great Food series. And, once you notice that it includes a volume by M.F.K Fisher and one by Alexandre Dumas, I suspect that you’ll fall into some sort of rapturous coma, too. Not only is it infused with Penguin’s excellent sense of style, but the content is also a mouth-watering, intellectually stimulating blend of recipes and food history. I am expecting a combination of Mark Kurlansky and Montaigne, all wrapped in 20 multicolored packages. I don’t know if that’s what I’ll get, but I plan to find out as soon as I get my tax return and have some unexpected dollars to spend on these slim volumes*.
I have to say, the ready availability of free, typo-ridden e-books has sure made the competition for public domain printed material fierce. Yet, if beautifully crafted books like these are the result, maybe e-books aren’t the bane everyone keeps trying to make them out to be. There might be some benefit for us nostalgic, bookish people after all. Read more about the series at the Penguin Blog here, and check out a great video here.
* Unfortunately, I just discovered that the great food series won’t be released in the U.S. until October ’11! What a wait!