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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Friday, 31 August 2012

"Cod" by Mark Kurlansky

Since I had previously read Kurlansky's 'Salt' and found it a fascinating discussion of history from the perspective of a commodity I was very keen to read 'Cod'. It is much the same. He explains how Cod was important in the discovery of America, suggesting that the Basque fishing fleet were off Newfoundland long before Columbus or Cabot, and played a crucial part in the War of Independence. He also details how overfishing has led to the closure of the Grand Banks.

Cod is not (at least to my life) as important as Salt and inevitably the book is more limited because of this. And I was not at all interested in the endless recipes although I understand that this is a food book (and it did inspire me to choose Bacalaho when I encountered it by chance in a little Eastbourne cafe principally devoted to burgers and omelettes but run by a Portuguese couple who were delighted that someone ordered their national dish even though I couldn't finish it).

What I really disliked was his perpetual use of 'off of' when a fishing boat was 'off of' Iceland or 'off of' Newfoundland etc. Surely one can say 'off' Cape Breton.

This was an enjoyable book but Salt is better!

August 2012; 276 pages

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