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When I first started writing professionally, it wasn’t just cookbooks that I reviewed.  I’d just left academic publishing after 10 years in literary studies, and there was a bit of a transition. My very first clips ran in Publishers Weekly, and they were book reviews: tiny, 200-word reviews of literary biographies, books about the occult (!), and a few books about food.

Over the years my focus shifted to cookbooks only.  But this month I had a chance to re-visit the world of mainstream book reviewing when NPR asked me to have a look at an Chinese-American food memoir.

‘On the Noodle Road’ turned out to be a fascinating read, although I had a number of disagreements with it.  And because I adore radio work, I especially enjoyed working with NPR to convert my 700-word review into into a 2-minute audio synopsis.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat, even if there is a long queue of cookbooks that are first in line as usual.

Click here to read the full version and listen to my ‘On the Noodle Road’ review as heard on All Things Considered.

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