26 August 2009

A-Z Wednesday: Cod by Mark Kurlansky

Reading at the Beach is hosting this fun meme: Each week she invites you to spotlight a book whose title begins with the featured letter. This week we have the letter C.

My C book is Cod by Mark Kurlansky. Yes, not only did I read a book about cod but I'm recommending that you read it too. This is an amazingly interesting look at the relationship between cod and humans from Viking times to the present. Before reading Kurlansky's book, I had no idea that the cod fishing industry had such far-reaching effects on exploration, politics, wars, and the worldwide economy. Cod was one of my top reads for 2006, and if you have an interest in food, other cultures, colonial America, New England, or cooking (recipes are included), you won't be sorry to give this one a try.

For a look at Kurlansky's Salt, see my review. These are the only Kurlansky books I've read. Can you recommend any others?


Care 8/26/09, 7:13 AM  

I've read Salt - it's fantastic. I have not doubt Cod would be just as good. :)

Unknown 8/26/09, 8:04 AM  

I'm not convinced! A book about cod doesn't sound that exciting. I suppose that the author must be very talented if they can make a single fish interesting. If I see a copy I'll have a quick flick through now. Thanks for drawing it to my atttention!

Margot at Joyfully Retired 8/26/09, 9:06 AM  

I love cod. I'd like to know about how cod ties in with the world wide economy, politics and so forth. But then I love books about food. I miss that challenge.

Sandy Nawrot 8/26/09, 9:08 AM  

You've stunned me into silence...almost. I love cod, but would never have imagined a whole book about it. I thought I'd seen it all when I recently read a review about a book on snowflakes. I do trust you, Beth, but I'm not sure...

Nise' 8/26/09, 10:05 AM  

I have famiy who lives in fishing communities, one on the east coast, one on the west coast and one in Alaska, so I know the importance of it and just may check this book out.

serendipity_viv 8/26/09, 10:40 AM  

Cod - you have made me very hungry, if nothing else. I really shouldn't be amazed that a book exists about cod, as there are books on nearly everything else. I am just pleased to hear it was good.

Anonymous,  8/26/09, 11:12 AM  

Sounds interesting, actually, and a book my husband might enjoy, too.

Kristen 8/26/09, 12:17 PM  

I have this one sitting on the tbr shelves. Thanks for reminding me of it!

Book Dragon 8/26/09, 12:29 PM  

Cod? Great - now I'm hungry '-)
Sounds good enough to go to the library for

I've got three memes happening today.

Dorte H 8/26/09, 1:27 PM  

A C book? That would be impossible in Danish, but once I wrote a manuscript whose English title would be "Crystal Nights." More crime than cod.

Anonymous,  8/26/09, 1:27 PM  

This sounds like a book my husband would love.

Thanks for playing A-Z Wednesday!

Unknown 8/26/09, 2:14 PM  

Cod? Really? Well many non-fiction books turn out to be very interesting.

A-Z Wednesday

Lenore Appelhans 8/26/09, 5:29 PM  

I do need to learn more about fish!

Kinga 8/26/09, 8:35 PM  

Wow, a whole book about cod...! Need to check it out. Loved the cover design as well.

The Reading Momster 8/26/09, 9:55 PM  

jeez! A whole book that much info.... must be a great one then!

Clarissa 8/27/09, 2:56 AM  

I read "Cod" as a background some years ago, when I translated "The End of the Line" by Charles Clover into German, and I found it really worthwhile. "The End of the Line" is all about overfishing, which definitely is a big issue these days, and the book is a veritable wake-up call for everyone eating fish. Highly recommended!

Beth Kephart 8/27/09, 6:34 AM  

I loved Salt. Love, in general, that brand of book that began to appear several years back—single topic, well-researched, finely written histories. I love the smartness of your choice.

Penny 8/27/09, 9:28 PM  

A book about Cod? And another about Salt? Sounds like I need to sign up for a foodie challenge and get reading! :)

Walter,  8/31/09, 2:50 PM  

I found "Cod" a fascinating book. Not so much because it's about a fish, and I'm a former fish biologist, but because it's about human history. I had no idea that cod was vital in enabling the long distance European explorations that resulted in "discovery," colonization, and globalization. I put discovery in quotes, because most of the places discovered by Europeans were already populated by someone who discovered them centuries earlier. It also puts into perspective the modern tragedy of the collapse of cod on the Grand Banks, once thought to be an inexhaustible resource. In any case, Cod is a fascinating book, and the recipes are a wonderful bonus, bringing history to life. It'd be a good idea to read Captains Courageous after Cod.

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