WANT to give a present that puts brain cells to good use? Then wrap a book that’s either practical or timely, or both. Here are a few titles you’d like to consider giving away for the season:
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has been rocked by a scandal of robust proportions, but it seems we’ll be seeing more of her delish cooking in the years to come.
“Lawson has remained stoic and mostly unscathed after revelations this past week, and her image among loyal fans could even be buoyed in the longer term. And the difference tells us much about the power of personal brand in 2013,” wrote the Associated Press of the scandal involving her alleged drug use.
A la culinary bad boy Anthony Bourdain, Lawson has owned up to using cocaine, but “not to the extent of which she’s been accused.” This admission is seen as the right move to brush aside these unsavory issues and might even strengthen her brand in the long run.
And that brings us to this book, “Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities,” a colorful hardcover cook book of dishes and goodies closest to the curvacious chef’s heart, from delightful cakes to succulent poultry dishes.
“Nigella Crhistmas” is the perfect gift for that someone that life’s challenges just can’t put down. Available at Fully Booked.
Be nice to your waiter, even if you haven’t read “Waiter Rant.” But whoever gets this book as a present can expect a mouthful of unappetizing insider’s account of what goes on behind the counter. The erstwhile anonymous narrator calls himself “The Waiter,” but has since identified himself as one Steve Dublanica.
The Waiter talks about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in the day-to-day operations of the kitchens he’s worked at, from fastfood joints to high-end restos. There are helpings of details about filthy employees’ toilets or bodily fluids on soup, stuff like that.
The whole point of the book is, well, to make customers aware of the pitfalls of eating out. Also, it should make you treat your waiter well, not just by giving him a tip but by being nice to him, regardless of whether you’re sincere or not. You can’t risk what he or his peers might put in your food because he thinks you’re being an ass. Available at Fully Booked.
Next year is 2014, or 30 years since the year 1984, the title of George Orwell’s prescient novel published in 1949. This bit of “anniversary” trivia would make a good excuse to introduce this classic, as a gift, to a friend.
And 1984 couldn’t be more timely. More than ever, Orwell’s “nightmarish vision” of the world is becoming real: propaganda as truth, government surveillance tracks his every move, technology and trends that compromises personal privacy (well hello, here, Facebook).
There might be a chance that the Orwell’s not-so-jolly depiction of the future (the present) can be real downer, but 1984 should also make some insightful, eye-opening read during the holidays. Just warn the recipient not to go paranoid or something. Available at National Book Store. (Freon L. Ollival)