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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Cusk, Rachel: A Life's Work | Main | Maxwell, William: So Long, See You Tomorrow »

Pépin, Jacques: The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

  

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Houghton Mifflin © 2003, 336 pages [amazon]
3 stars

Jacques Pépin isn't like the rest of us. When he encounters some thousands of snails slime-trailing their way around the wet terraces of his vacation bungalow, Pépin doesn't just register their appearance as a curiosity and move on, as we might. He thinks "Dinner!" and runs around excitedly collecting the creatures in a wastepaper basket. When a friend complains that his boat's outboard motor regularly hits something hard in a particular shallow channel, Pépin investigates and once again finds a free lunch--the obstruction is a shoal of mussels from which he happily gathers a feast.

When he encounters some thousands of snails slime-trailing their way around the wet terraces of his vacation bungalow, Pepin doesn't just register their appearance as a curiosity and move on, as we might.These stories hint at the most striking revelation of Pépin's autobiography, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen: the man is obsessed with food. This ought not come as a surprise, I suppose. Pépin is, after all, a renowned professional chef. But not every professional is so taken with the subject of his expertise. Love of food and its preparation--foraging or fishing for it, prying it from the walls of a vacation resort, simmering it on his own stovetop or stirring up consomm√©s in thousand-gallon vats--pervade Pépin's life.

In straightforward, readable prose, The Apprentice tells the story of Pépin's life in food, from his childhood in war-rationed France--where his father, a member of the Resistance, smuggled the occasional banana to his wife and sons; to his apprenticeship in the kitchens of his mother's restaurants and under a series of respected French chefs; to his increasingly successful career in America. Throughout, one marvels at the author's apparently flawless memory for cooking. Remarkably, Pépin describes in detail dishes he made decades earlier, their ingredients and preparation, how the meal was received. These sections of the book do not make for the most scintillating reading for those of us who are not food aficionados, but they are impressive even so. For those who are inclined to take to the stove, Pépin includes more than twenty recipes in the book.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.