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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.