April 6, 2003

Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg, by Barry Williams with Chris Kreski

[I never did get around to writing this entry.]

Posted by Shmuel at 5:04 PM

April 4, 2003

Seinfeld: The Totally Unauthorized Tribute (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Whether you're a Seinfeld fan or not, you're probably not going to want to bother with this one. It might serve as an object lesson in what not to do in writing a book about a TV show. Overbearing author; almost useless capsule summaries of the shows that leave lots of stuff out; completely pointless trivia questions that add nothing to the body text. And it's missing the last batch of episodes, 'cause the book was rushed to market to capitalize on the Seinfeld mania that accompanied the end of the series. Pretty much a wash all around.

Posted by Shmuel at 5:02 PM

April 3, 2003

Iron Chef: The Official Book, compiled by Fuji Television; translated by Kaoru Hoketsu

If you're an Iron Chef fan, you'll probably want to read this; if not, you probably won't. It's a quick, momentarily diverting read, with lots of photos.

On the bright side, it includes a list of all the battles. It doesn't however, say who won (presumably so as not to give away the end for those who haven't seen a given episode yet), and I would have appreciated even a one-sentence summary giving a highlight from each episode, but I suppose that would've required too much effort. Also, there are a bunch of photos of various dishes made on the show, but in most cases, they're unaccompanied by actual recipes. Maybe those who are into epicurean eye candy will appreciate this; I didn't.

On the other hand, this book was originally written in Japanese, and some of the translations are, well, kinda charming. "This program is too demanding so I hope it stays in an eternal sleep," says Kenji Fukui, for instance. Love it.

Anyway. It's got profiles of the Chefs and others associated with the program, a history of the show, various highlights, and lots of photos. So, again, if you like the show, it's worth a read.

Posted by Shmuel at 8:15 AM

January 7, 2003

Syrup, by Maxx Barry

A fun, light read, more than a little trashy, with flashes of wit. Not very substantial, but a nice diversion for the start of this trip.

Posted by Shmuel at 12:58 AM