Sunday, November 6, 2016

Staff Review: Birdseye by Mark Kurlansky

I can't say that I loved reading a book about the man behind the frozen food industry. It wasn't at all my usual sort of book, but I'm very glad that I pushed beyond my comfort zone to read it.

I checked out Birdseye by Mark Kurlansky because I wanted to read a book for the microhistory category in the Great Reading Challenge. I don't read very much nonfiction of any sort and have never tried a microhistory, so this seemed like a great way to Challenge my Reading habits.

Kurlansky is known for his microhistories (nonfiction books that go in depth on one, relatively small, topic in history), and his books often focus on food-related topics (yum!). However, the most important factor in my choice of Birdseye was the fact that an eBook was available in OverDrive at ten p.m. and I could start reading right there on my couch.

Happily, this was not a strenuous read. Kurlansky didn't expect me to have any special knowledge or familiarity with the history or science behind the development of frozen foods. I learned some interesting facts and enjoyed some amusing anecdotes about Clarence "Bob" Birdseye's colorful life. This is exactly the sort of book that my 70-something father would love, and I can see the appeal. In fact, I'll probably track down a copy to give my father so that we can have a nice chat about frozen vegetables over the holidays.

Am I glad that I checked out this book? Yes! Am I now a devoted fan of microhistories? Not so much, but I'm definitely willing to check one out the next time I need a brain break from my usual Science Fiction and Romance!

~Sarah, Adult Services

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