Book Review Week

Writers sometimes joke that being a writer is like doing homework all the time. The essays and book reviews we are relieved to be rid of when we leave school are a constant in our daily work lives. If someone had told me 30 years ago that I’d willingly write “book reports” for a living when I grew up, I’d have been one very unhappy girl. And choosing to write book reports doesn’t mean that writers don’t procrastinate, especially if there’s no deadline or pay cheque to act as an incentive. Which explains why I have enough books stacked up here by my desk to fill a week with reviews of books on food history. Perhaps a self-imposed deadline and announcing it to the world will do the trick.

Four of the five books I’ll be writing about this week are by Canadian writers, covering Canadian food. The last, while focused around the tenements of New York, shares enough parallels with the changes in Canadian foodways over the years that I’ve included it, as it also reflects the experience of Canadian immigrants and their contribution to Canadian food culture just as US immigrants changed the way people in that country eat.

Check back each morning this week as I review a new book, and get into the back to school spirit by doing homework without the incentive of pay OR a gold star.