Sometimes we read for fantasy, but other times we want to learn. As you explore your corner of the world and learn the stories of people you meet, there are instances where you’ll want to know just a little bit more.
Why are things the way they are? What molded history in a manner that forged today’s truths?
Below, I’ve listed out a few of my favorite recent books that help me tap into just a little more information on a subject that has peaked my interest. Have you read any of these or do any sound interesting?
The links to each book are affiliate links to my Bookshop page where you can support local bookstores with your purchases. A small portion will go to me at no extra cost to you.
How Soccer Explains The World: An Unlikely Theory Of Globalization – Franklin Foer
As a lifelong fan and player of soccer (read as football for all of my non-US readers out there), I picked this book up thinking it would tell some inspiring, coming-of-age tales of how the beautiful game saved a community or helped one young child come out of a difficult situation. The first chapters launch right into the dirty underground of football fanaticism and the culture and violence it can bring. You’ll witness stories from religious clashes in Ireland to teams building militias in Serbia. Gripping and awesome read.
And A Bottle Of Rum: A History Of The New World In Ten Cocktails – Wayne Curtis
Whiskey and all of the different types you can find, but specifically bourbon, comes with a string of rules and laws that dictate what it can be called or how it’s made and is still often considered the quintessential American liquor. Author Wayne Curtis argues against that, saying rum is the free, lawless cowboy that truly embodies the American spirit. The book takes you through the colonial-era Americas and Caribbean, teaching us the realities of how slavery and conquest created the building blocks on which many of the libations we enjoy today were built upon.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering The Elements of Good Cooking – Samin Nosrat
Let’s take a minute to be honest with ourselves and why we enjoy travel – to eat good food of course! There’s no reason we can’t enjoy a rich pasta alle vongole in Italy and not try to recreate it at home. I really like how Samin teaches you to embrace the fundamentals of cooking through the four, titular elements of cooking and how to tweak them to uncover new flavor profiles. She includes flavor maps for each section so you can have an idea on what ingredients to get to start building a certain dish. So next time you’re out on vacation getting a nice dinner, feel confident that you’ll be able to recreate the meal for a stay-at-home date.