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Profile for Burkhardt Reed > Reviews


Burkhardt Reed's Profile

Customer Reviews: 2
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Helpful Votes: 2

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Texas BBQ (Jack and Doris Smothers series in Texas history, life, and culture)
Texas BBQ (Jack and Doris Smothers series in Texas history, life, and culture)
by Wyatt McSpadden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $29.38
58 used & new from $15.23

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop me before I eat page 10, April 6, 2009
Fortunately, I'm less tempted to chew on the majority of photos in McSpadden's new classic, happily devouring them with my eyes instead. A few moments spent with the twilight photo of Prause's Market, the neon glowing, the windows steamed, and I was warmed on this chilly March day. In McSpadden's hands, a bottle of toothpicks--toothpicks, for Pete's Sake--is elevated to fine art.

But it's in the photographs of the men and women who do the smokin', some who've worked the pits for decades, that McSpadden's master talents shine brightest. Whether they're stoking the pits, adrift in a sea of cordword, or moving like a blur during the lunch rush, you can tell that the people of Texas BBQ take their cooking with the seriousness it requires.

All this is sandwiched between a forward by novelist Jim Harrison, who equates McSpadden's images with the poetry of Pablo Neruda, and an afterward by food writer John Morthland, who has the unquestionable BBQ credentials to write up the history and details ("The thermometer at Martin's has reach 114.") of this particular Texas tribe called pit masters.

Even if the book had been slapped together, it would still be great, but the design of the book itself deserves raves. So clever: the stamped red brick as title page. So appropriate: the crumpled brown paper for the inside back and front cover pages. So arresting: the bold type for the bold quotes from pit masters.

Bet you can guess what all the BBQ zealots I know are getting for presents this year.

Ellyn Lake
Ellyn Lake
by William O'Connell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.98
22 used & new from $2.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sense of time and place, November 13, 2007
This review is from: Ellyn Lake (Paperback)
The author's detailed descriptions of the goings on at a World War II airfield make it clear that he is writing about what he knows. This, along with the references to songs of that era, the price of cashmere cardigans at the time, and quotes from Dorothy Parker, give the novel a rich sense of time and place. Into all this great atmosphere is woven a compelling mystery--with strong woman as the central character, to boot. Her power is literal--she know jujitsu, no less!--but her power never seems arbitrary. The author takes the time to weave a past for her that explains her atypical-for-the-times strength. Anyone with any interest in the flyboys (and girls) of WWII--or anyone who just likes a good mystery with villians to boo and heroes to cheer--would get a kick out of Ellyn Lake.

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