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Nov 17, 2017

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Sex, Wine and Sausage Rolls
by Kate Whitfield
Magazine Issue: AUS/NZ Issue Two
Finding a good read can be harder than a cat's head. 'Know any good books?' Damn straight we do. Here Kate Whitfield dips into the archives and pulls a couple of top picks. Being old doesn't make them outdated, it makes them a classic.

All The Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy

Pan Macmillan (1993)

There's something about this book that inspires reverence. It could be the awesome, quiet landscape of the American south west and Mexico. It could be the relaxed but piercing eloquence of the prose. Or it could be the solemn, humble heroism of John Grady Cole himself.

Sixteen-year-old Texan John Grady and his faithful mate Rawlins run off to Mexico to escape a new era in which the cowboy is obsolete. Meeting strife in the form of juvenile suspected horse thief Blevins, the boys embark on a south of the border epic with romance, tragedy and blood n' guts enough to make Shakespeare queasy.

There's lots of horses (not surprisingly), lots of camping under the stars, and they occasionally call each other pardner, but this book is much bigger than a western.

The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber & Faber (1989)

It's a book you bought for your mum because she loves those Merchant Ivory films. It's about an English butler and an unrealised love affair. Yes, this would be a recipe for a big snooze if it wasn't written by Kazuo Ishiguro, an English writer with an uncanny knack for writing a whole novel without words.

Where films show and books tell, Ishiguro doesn't. Everything really happening in the life of Stevens the butler is everything that isn't said. When Stevens tells us what immense satisfaction he derives from excelling in butlerly composure, the reader can still see the sorrowful creature cowering behind the shield of the stiffest upper lip in England.

If you're someone who gets kicks from viewing the naked, quivering and vulnerable human soul through outstanding prose, you'll probably like this one.

Shiny and New
A selection of book reviews about cooks, drugs and women and wine.
Allan Campion and Michele Curtis

Purple Egg $20

Knowing how and when to buy fresh produce is an issue for most people, but not nearly as big as it is for Allan Campion and Michele Curtis. This is a collection of the pairs work taken from the last six years of the Seasonal Produce Diary series and includes tips, recipes and ideas for buying, using and storing only the freshest produce..

Anthony Bourdain

Allen and Unwin $29.95

Sex, wine and sausage rolls. Hardcore tales about the crew of a kitchen way back when the fish were faster, the customers harder, the meals trickier and the women overeasy. It may put you off restaurants forever, but is just as likely to turn you to a life of revelry and debauchery. Either way.

Jeni Port

Arcadia $29.95

Like they say, behind every great wine there's quite often a woman winemaker. This book's not a cry to hear us roar, just a rollicking, entertaining and informative collection of interviews about women and wine.

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