Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Silk Riders - Jo and Gareth Morgan's Incredible Journey on the Trail of Marco Polo with John McCrystal - Publisher Random House.

This book has the longest sub-title I have seen imposed on a book in many a year.
Sub-titles though are useful tools for explaining the contents of a book if the main title fails to do this. Publishers like them and I must say as a consumer I tend to like them too.

From his weekly newspaper column reports and his weekly chat with Paul Holmes many New Zealanders will be familiar with the ride that Gareth Morgan, along with his wife Jo and five friends made on motorcycles to replicate the overland journey of Marco Polo from his Italian homeland (although he was born in Croatia) to Xanadu in China.

The Morgans, and Gareth is a great New Zealander in my opinion, and their crazy mates, must be nuts to undertake adventures of this kind. Rivetting and entertaining as the story proved to be, the escapades and problems and difficulties they experienced along the way made me decide for all time that I was never venturing beyond the city boundary on my 150cc Vespa !!

Hugely entertaining with Gareth Morgan's characteristic alternative take on much of what goes on around him and a goodly selection of photographs too. As you might imagine the planning and organisation that goes into such a trip is formidable.

One shouldn't overlook the valuable contribution made to the finished highly readable text provided by well-known Wellington scribe John McCrystal.

Thanks to my friend Peter who loaned me Silk Riders ,I'm now looking forward to the next Morgan adventure which is due in the next couple of months and tells of their epic 2006 journey across and around the U.S.

PS I should have mentioned the book comes with a DVD - an hour long doco with photo slideshow.

BUONISSIMO - easy modern recipes for traditional Italian cooking

by Sivana Franco, Ursula Ferrigno, Clare Ferguson, Elsa Petersen-Schepelern
Published by Ryland, Peters & Small.

Four London-based experts on Italian cooking with particular interest for New Zealanders Clare Ferguson who originally hales from thse shores, is a sister of our cooking matriarch Alison Holst, and is a former Food Editor of both Elle and She magazines.

This has quickly become a favourite cookbook in our house and as I haven't got a cover image I'll show a photo of a luncheon dish we made last weekend which is featured on the cover which can be seen behind the dish.

The dish is called cherry tomato pizza and is typical of the many tasty and easy-to-make dishes to be found in the book.My three other favourites so far are focaccia with olives, pasta con le vongole (which we also made at the weekend with our harvest of cockles, and risotto with asparagus,peas and basil.

If you are keen on Italian cooking, even if you haven't ventured into the field yet, then this is the book for you. I can't tell you the price as it was a gift but I notice it is pds.16.99 in the UK.


Anonymous said...

Those guys that rode the Silk Road are mad buggers alright but what a great read. Armchair travel at its best.

Anonymous said...

Those guys that rode the Silk Road are mad buggers alright but what a great read. Armchair travel at its best.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mike about their sanity but gosh it makes for great reading. I also agree with Bookman that Gareth Morgan is a great Kiwi.
They broke the mould after he was born.