Melbourne - bookshops and barbers

We spent a wonderful Queen's Birthday holiday weekend staying with old friends in Melbourne and I was reminded again that is one of the world's great food capitals and also that there seem to be bookshops and barbers all over the place!
I came back, of course, weighed down with books bought in some of the fine book-stores and would have bought more had it not been for luggage weight problems but those I left behind have been ordered since returning home.

Here is a list of those bought:

M.F.K.Fisher among the Pots and Pans
Joan Reardon
University of California Press - A$49.95
This wee hardback gem published in 2008 provides a personal glimpse at a woman who continues to mystify to this day (she died in 1992). There are 27 recipes based on her writings and yearly appointment books and they reveal her preference for certain ingredients and dishes and give a wonderful sense of her menus and entertaining style.
Author Joan Reardon,(an author and culinary historian),provides an intimate portrait which is wonderfully complimented by the colour drawings of Avram Dumitrescu, and Irish artist and illustrator who specialises in food, architecture and animals.

apricots and apron strings
Julie Jansen
Burt St.Pty.Ltd - A$29.95
Julie Jansen (left) has been a recipe writer for television, magazines and newspapers before a successful career in various food related businesses. This book brings together some 70 of her favourite recipes, from country favourites cooked with my family, from days writing for the Nine Networks What's Cooking and magazines such as House & Garden, Super Food Ideas and Good Taste, from creating test kitchen recipes for Coles and Dairy Australia, from times travelling and cooking abroad, and more recently from running her own cafes and catering business.

These recipes fall into six chapters within the book;

  • breakfast and brunch 
  • finger food, snacks and savouries
  • salads and soups
  • the main course 
  • cookies, scones and slices
  • cakes and desserts 

These books were bought at the wonderful  Books for Cooks who are at 233-235 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy.
They sell books, new and old, about wine, food and the culinary arts and their range and depth of stock is truly impressive.

Bicycle Diaries 
David Byrne
Viking Hardback - on special at A$19.95 (previously $39.95)
Since the early 1980's, renowned musician and visual artist David Byrne, has been riding a bike as his principal means of transport in NewYork. Two decades ago he discovered folding bikes and started taking them with him around the world. This appealingly designed book chronicles his observations and insights as he pedals through and engages with some of the world's major cities.For all cyclists and also those who dream of being one but never quite make it.
I bought this one at Horton Books at 100 Smith Street in Collingwood. A cute smaller store that also sold new and pre-read books.

The Travel Almanac
Udo Kier - A$20
Unusual book - soft cover, 124 pages, colour illustrations throughout, a book about travel and fashion with quite a lot of stylish fashion advertising within its pages. Could't find any reference to a publisher?

Everybody Dies - a children's book for grown ups
Ken Tanaka
A Maximum Pleasant Book - US$10
Here is what the publisher says about it:
Written and illustrated by Ken Tanaka, this book uses colorful illustrations to help grown-ups come to terms with the unavoidable fate that awaits them. Although meant for adults, Everybody Dies may be most effective when read to frightened parents by their children.
Artist and Author Ken Tanaka first became known for his award winning YouTube videos on the Helpmefindparents Youtube channel. This is Tanaka's first compete book.
The Bookman says - thought provoking!
The above two titles were bought at a quirky store called Third Drawer Down in George Street, Fitzroy (off Gertrude and not far from Books for Cooks. It is not a bookstore but does have a small eclectic range amongst all the other weird and wonderful stuff on display.They describe themselves as a Museum of Art Souvenirs.Worth a visit if you are in the area. I was fascinated.

Slow Cooker 2
Sally Wise
ABC - Paperback - A$24.99
This is a follow up to Sally Wises' previous best-selling Slow Cooker, which I tried without success to locate, and contains some 100 recipes as well as a section of helpful hints. I was interetsed to note that there are no illustrations in the book at all  which is fairly unusual for a cookbook theses days. Probably the last thing I need is another slow food cookbook but it seemed that on every page where I opened the book there was a recipe I wanted to make so hey presto it was in the shopping basket.

The Sweet Life - Desserts from Australia's MasterChef
Kate Bracks
Ebury Press - NZ$60

The Heart of the Home 
Julie Goodwin - Australia's first MasterChef
Ebury Press - NZ $75
Both of these titles are spin-offs from the hugely successful MasterChef Australia tv show and I simply couldn't resist them. Two highly talented and gracious women authors, two utterly gorgeous, beautifully designed hardback cookbooks from noted Australian cookbook publisher Ebury Press (a division of Random House).
I see the titles are available in New Zealand so I have noted the NZ rrp.
These books came from the indie chain of Readings, established in 1969. I was in their Hawthorn store in Glenferrie Road. Their list of branches is:
NEW VINTAGE TYPE - Classic fonts for the Digital Age
Steven Heller & Gail Anderson
Thames & Hudson - Paper - A$35.95
Choose, use, and understand great vintage type with this authoritative guide. Retro is the new modern. And nowhere is that fact more evident than in typography, which today uses vintage type in ads, book and magazine design, movies, and everywhere words convey meaning.

I found this at Artisan Books, 159 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy -
A new shop for me although I gather they have been around for 17 years. They are the premier specialist in books, periodicals and exhibition catalogues relating to art, craft, design and culture. Worth a visit when you are cruising the trendy Gertrude Street.

Between visiting bookshops and restaurants I did manage to read Martin Amis' latest novel LIONEL ASBO.  It proved to be both sinister and comic, tough and tender and actually made me laugh out loud in a couple of places, not something you expect to happen while reading this author.Having just moved to New York one has to wonder if Amis isn't having a swipe at his former home?
Read reviews in The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Mail.

I also read This is Life by Dan Rhodes (Allen &Unwin) which was an altogether very different experience; quirky funny and most enjoyable story of a week in the life of Parisian art student Aurelie who suddenly finds herself looking after a baby for a week. Loaded with charming & eccentric characters.Great holiday read.