Book Readings

The experiences of a young trainee cattle market auctioneer from 1954 to 1960;  a unique memoir of a bygone time. John Shrive's memoir, "Done, finished, you lose it!"was written in 1980 and relates to experiences at both Kettering and Market Harborough Cattle Markets, when the Auctioneers were Messrs Berry Bros and Bagshaw and J. Toller Eady.

Table Talk: Sweet and Sour, Salt and Bitter brings together the best of AA Gill's columns on food. David Watson reads two chapters from the book: Pizza Express, and Elizabeth David.

Ursula Heinzelmann is a freelance German food and wine writer, a sommelière and a gastronome. She was a good cook before she had learned to read, according to a radio interview on HR2-Kultur, and she was a practitioner before she began to write about food. She has twice been awarded the annual Sophie Coe Prize in Food History at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, most recently in 2006. In 2008 she won the Prix du Champagne Lanson for her wine journalism on Slow Food Magazine. In 2014 Reaktion Books published her well-received Beyond Bratwurst, a chronological history of food in Germany. Ursula recorded three chapters from Beyond Bratwurst for Talking of Food.

Willie Fowler's Countryman's Cooking was written for men. He joined Bomber Command in WW2, flew Lancasters, was shot down by the Germans and ended up in Stalag Luft 3. When he returned to Cumbria after his release in 1945, he took to farming mink, then daffodils, while rediscovering the delights of hunting, shooting and fishing, not to mention cooking, eating and womanising. We have three extracts read by Rupert Baker to whet the appetite…

Alexandre Dumas, best known for such classic novels as The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and Man in the Iron Mask, wanted to be remembered for a far more esoteric book.  Food was his real passion in life and his Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine was the one book the great novelist cared about.  Mark Hilton reads extracts from Alan and Jane Davidson's translation,  Dumas On Food.

Edward Trencom has bumbled through life, relying on his trusty nose to turn the family cheese shop into the most celebrated fromagerie in England. But his world is turned upside down when he stumbles across a crate of family papers. To his horror, Edward discovers that nine previous generations of his family have come to sticky ends because of their noses. Giles Milton, the author, has chosen two passages to read from this, his first novel.

Elizabeth Luard reads an extract from the Introduction to her first book, European Peasant Cookery. First published in 1984, it was republished in the UK in 2007 by Grub Street.

Mark Crick’s  Kafka’s Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 17 recipes is a book often borrowed and seldom returned.  It is a joy to dip into this collection of literary pastiches for recipes written in the style of Raymond Chandler, Irvine Welsh, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Homer, Chaucer and so on.