mark kurlansky || cod || 1.5/5.0
i might not have started blogging about books if i realized i'd be such a hard critic to please. nevertheless, kurlansky gets one point for adequately putting sentences together in english, and the half for at least putting his arguments in chronological order.
i mean, "a biography of the fish that changed the world"? that's a tall order, and i wasn't convinced. according to kurlansky, cod is responsible for the vikings discovering north america, nearly derailing the peace of paris (you know, because john adams was most concerned about fishing rights), the entire existence of the basque region, nearly disbanding the european union, etc.
none of his arguments are well-defended, and i'm left feeling that you could probably write a book about anything & claim it changed the world. goats? cheese? goatcheese??
there certainly are some good tidbits in there (the icelandic naming tradition, for example), but there's a lot of fluff... and a lot of unnecessary cod fish recipes. i would have liked a lot more information on the current overfishing crisis, but it feels skimmed over here.
the moral of the story? i need to stop picking books because they have interesting covers and lean more on respected recommendations.
but, i'm in the midst of three great reads at the moment, so hopefully things will be looking up soon!