Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Okay so I have two recommendations:

1. If you can (and in NYC, you can't, because yesterday was its final night) do check out In Search of Memory, the documentary about Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel. I'm not saying it's perfect, because it's not (the re-enactments...well, you'll see) but in parts it's fascinating and moving, too, and if I liked it you know the science is pretty easy to swallow.

2. The Roald Dahl Cookbook. I asked for this for Christmas after Simon Hopkinson gave it a shout-out in More Roast Chicken (which, like its predecessor, you should own) and have been holed up with it for the past three days. (I mean, when I wasn't working, walking etc.) It was published shortly after Dahl's death, and is as much a collection of reminiscences as a cookbook. Anyone who's read his memoirs - or, indeed, his fiction - needn't be told that this is a treat. Likewise, anyone who's read them knows about Dahl's keen love of food, chocolate especially, and can guess that the collection is both idiosyncratic and very useful - albeit in that peculiar British sort of way which requires a different set of assumptions. It's also a lovely portrait of his later years and second marriage (his wife Liccy co-wrote and executed) although one can't help feel a little bad for Patricia Neal, who's not mentioned once, especially knowing how Liccy was her best friend whom she took in etc. etc. etc. as the King of Siam (aka Yul Brynner) would have it.

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