Please excuse the hasty nature of the post but under the philosophy of “something written is better than nothing written” I’m trying to get my thoughts on books read out there quickly.
Back in 2008, I loved the first book in the Amitav Ghosh’s trilogy Sea of Poppies which began the story of the ship the Ibis and her passengers in the voyage across the Indian Ocean. We met Westerners and Easterners all affected by the colonial upheaval right before the Opium Wars. The first book was very personal, with each character’s story told in depth. I reread it before reading the second book, the delightful River of Smoke, which in turn focuses on the politics of the time period. Many of our favorite characters from the first barely appear in the second. Instead we’re introduced to a new group of people to get to know.
Set mainly in Canton and Hong Kong, we go more in depth into the opium trade with actually opium merchants introduced to the story. We learn more about the effects of this stupifying drug on the population and on the politics. Ghosh also writes in the pidgin of the time period to give the reader a real feel for the time period. It slows down reading a bit but makes it all the more enjoyable. This second book lacks some of the vibrancy of the first but it’s definitely worth reading especially since there’s a third volume to look forward to in a few years time.
Now I’m onto Adam Gopnik’s book on food The Table Come First. I’m also starting The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson this weekend. Apparently I’m into reading books by authors whose names start with ‘A’ right now.
Tomorrow I’m making a 13 pound turkey plus a whole mess of sides for five people which is overkill I realize. Luckily I came across this delicious sounding recipe for what looks like a Turkey Pho from The Garum Factory, a blog written by Ken Rivard and his wife Jody Adams (yes, that Jody Adams). Doesn’t it look great? I find eating leftovers fairly boring, so this reuse of the turkey which will taste very different from the Thanksgiving day meal is very welcome.
I’ve also been thinking of holiday recommendations. Each year we put on a Buyers’ Night here at HBS–it’s on 12/9 at 7 pm this year. I need to go over my reading list and pull together titles. It’s usually a fun time, so if you’re in the area, please join us!