I bought, but have not read yet, this one: In the Devil's Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food, by Stewart Lee Allen. It appealed to my noted weakness for history-of books.
“Lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, greed, blasphemy, and anger--the seven deadly sins have all been linked to food. Matching the food to the sin, Stewart Lee Allen offers a high-spirited look at the way foods over time have been forbidden, even criminalized, for their "evil" effects. Food has often been, shockingly, morally weighted, from the tomato, originally called the love apple and thought to excite lust; to the potato, whose popularity in Ireland led British Protestants to associate it with sloth; to foods like corn or bread whose use was once believed to delineate "lowness," thus inflaming class pride…the real focus is on the human response to a primal pleasure--eating--and the way people have sought to control it, in every society and every culture, through prohibition.” (From review.)
He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, by Greg Behrendt. The press around this book – and then the movie – annoyed me so much that I refused to read this book when it first came out, but for some reason curiosity overcame me lately.
It wasn't a demanding read, to say the least. It’s a lot like a long magazine article. Pretty thin text for a book, although Mr. Behrendt has gone on to write more books in the same vein, so apparently some people think he has something new to say. Overall: meh. I agree with some of what he says: some people do chase after people who are obviously - well, not that into them. Unfortunately, I doubt this fluffed-out Cosmo article is going to dissuade them. And much of the time, I think Mr. Behrendt slides from clever flippancy into repetitive heavy-handedness. When it comes to wittily capturing the social patterns and dysfunctions of love, he is no Jane Austen.
Speaking of love, here’s one book I will not be buying: Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. I have previously expressed my opinion, both here and in the Stranger, about Ms Gottlieb’s plan of: “Marry any half-way decent man who asks you, because being married, even to someone you don’t love, is better than being single. Plus you need his sperm to get pregnant, and his income to support the little devils.”
I will note that the author, in spite of having stated, in print, that her standards for marriage are extremely low, is still not partnered. Why am I not surprised? I could have told her that. Oh, wait, I did tell her that. This looks like a classic case of saying you want something, but then sabotaging your stated goal as hard as you can. Why she’s doing that I can only speculate.
In good print news: Check out The Stranger's article about local kink artisans and entrepreneurs. Featuring, of course, Twisted Monk! Plus, Scott Paul and Tonya Winter - it's a great piece.