The Main Dish
by Michael Ruhlman
Amazon Digital Services
Some Kindle Singles are stories that stand on their own. Some make you wonder why they weren't fleshed out as regular books. The Main Dish, however, lacks ingredients and leaves you unsatisfied. By Michael Ruhlman, a writer and chef, it conveys well the hardships many freelance writers endure to hone their craft and make a living. For example, his book Making of a Chef, about the Culinary Institute of America, was written in four months because his family would have run out of money if he took any longer. That project led to Ruhlman writing a cookbook for Thomas Keller. Ruhlman was drawn to food at an early age. At nine, he was already baking, and by 15, he made his own dinners. The most interesting part of this book has Ruhlman comparing the kitchens of two restaurants: Keller's French Laundry in Napa Valley, and an establishment in a Marriott-owned Renaissance hotel. In the latter, tongs were used to turn fish. Under Keller, so as not to damage meat, cooks could use only spatulas.
by Caitlin Moran
If you liked How to be a Woman you will enjoy Moranthology, a collection of Caitlin Moran's published writing on subjects ranging from the irredeemably silly to the important. Then there are her contemplative columns about death: she wonders why Amy Winehouse's talent couldn't save the singer, describes the unreality of Michael Jackson's memorial service, and reviews with tempered rage a documentary about the killing fields of Sri Lanka, showing how the military had "come up with a novel way to kill [Tamils]": drop a shell, wait for people to gather around their dying loved ones, then drop another shell, which later stopped them from going to help the injured. If nothing else, the book will teach you new words, "lollygagger" and "twonked up" among them. And her interviews show odd sides to celebrities such as Lady Gaga. Moran's trademark quirky humour drives the book: about Will and Kate's royal nuptials, she writes: "This wedding looked brilliant. China must be so jealous."