Sunday, January 11, 2009


I just finished Mark Kurlansky's "Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World." It was fine, and probably worth reading. As I was reading it, I was thinking that the book had an awful lot to do with the Basques. They were huge cod fisherman in the early (1400s) days, and continued to be so until the cod went away. I read Kurlansky's "The Basque History of the World" and thought it was interesting that there was so much overlap.

As I kept reading salt became a very, very important part of the story of cod. Then I realized that Kurlansky had written "Salt: A World History." I started looking around at Kurlansky's work and realized that he has written SIX books about cod, salt, or Basque themes. In addition, he wrote one about Glouster, a major New England cod port. Did he get six titles out of one set of research? Did he start with salt, cod, or Basques and get drawn into the other two? That's smart work if you can plan it well enough.


Blogger Nik said...

Good observation, David. By the way, just between us, I am planning to publish a book under the working title “Feta, Olives and How the Greeks Changed the World.” To be distributed at your local Greek restaurant. Starting with the Greeks, I can branch into other related topics ;)

4:04 PM  

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