Author: Mark Schatzker
Rating: 2 Stars
Review By: Shana
While this book has some good qualities, on the whole it was mediocre. The good is contained in the scientific discussion of flavor and nutrition, and how the modern diet has inadvertently divorced the deep relationship between the two. Also good, in small doses, is the author's personal experience seeking out flavor and good food. Unfortunately, this also contributes to the disappointment I felt reading.
Schatzker tries to take on the conversational and humorous tone that Mary Roach has perfected in her scientific writing. Roach is careful and her best books allow the reader to explore the subject area with her, discovering it as she does and punctuated with her pithy and funny asides. She usually does not have an ax to grind so you feel that she has approached her subject with an open mind. In contrast, Schatzker does not strike this same balance; it isn't that he seems to have foregone objectivity and written with a conclusion already in mind, just that he doesn't present the material in an orderly and objective way so that you can come to the same conclusion he does. Exacerbating this is his repetitiveness in the first third of the book and the feel that he is almost yelling at the reader in excitement. The scientific explanations are scattershot and not strung together well. In the end it feels erratic and makes the reader work harder than is necessary to try to understand the scientific underpinnings that support his conclusions.
It isn't a terrible book, but I wish I could read something better organized so I could have come away feeling confidently knowledgeable instead of unsure if I've linked everything together properly.
My love of reading was sparked in 3rd grade by the promise of personal pan pizzas via the BOOK IT! Program. Hmmmm... any chance that someone might give adults free food for reading? Asking for a friend...