Archive for the ‘Cookbooks, Book Sellers, and Publishing’

The War of Words . . .

August 20, 2016
By Holly Jennings

 . . . and the Personality of Punctuation


Paper in typewriter


Based on its title, you might suppose this posting is a topical one about the verbal battles between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which have included an incendiary comment from Trump about the second amendment that seemed to many like a literal call to arms.


It’s about writing and editing, and the defense of good practices, a matter too small to make it into the entertainment-as-news media channels.


Recently, a story I wrote about coffee ice cream was published in a local food magazine. I got my first glance at the story after submitting it when I received my copy of the issue in the mail a couple of weeks ago.


The anonymous editor did a great job of tightening the piece without losing its heart; a couple of story points that I find intriguing were cut, but I can always pick up their thread in another story later on, if I want to.


It’s what was added, rather than cut, that (more…)

Bookstores for Food Lovers

January 20, 2011
By Holly Jennings

This past fall I took a trip down to New York City to visit friends, have design talks with Noboru (the designer of this blog), eat some good food, and poke around the city.

The eating highlight was the pork buns at Momofuku in the East Village. They live up to their reputation. Eating them was a sacred experience—the buns call upon one to slow down and be mindful, with each bite, of their nuanced flavor and texture. (I mean it, man.) I found them—and the passion for quality that they represent—inspiring. (FYI, there is a recipe for them in David Chang’s book Momofuku.)

The poking highlight was visiting two niche bookstores devoted entirely to selling cookbooks and books on food: Kitchen Arts & Letters, located in the Upper East Side, and Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, in Greenwich Village. I’d been to Kitchen Arts & Letters, owned by Nach Waxman, but had never ventured into Bonnie Slotnick’s store. Both shops are wonderful, each having its own focus and flavor.

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks (left) and Kitchen Arts & Letters (right)

Nach Waxman and Bonnie Slotnick spent a generous amount of time talking with me about their bookstores and the business of selling books. A shared theme in my conversations with both Nach and Bonnie is the important role the brick-and-mortar bookshop plays in building relationships between booksellers and shoppers, and even among shoppers—what some might call “good customer service” and “building community.” (more…)

DCCC Opens for Business

November 09, 2010
By Holly Jennings

The Dowdy Corners Cookbook Club has finally begun, after thinking about it for more than a couple of years. Actually, a small group of interested friends, neighbors, and friends of friends, has already been reading and cooking from the club’s first cookbook Entice with Spice, a very accessible introduction to Indian home cooking. The launch of the DCCC blog has been a bit slower going, plagued, as I am, by a double handicap of technophobia and perfectionism. (I’m used to working on printed books, and so I have to remind myself that blogs are loops of on-going adjustment, feedback, adjustment, feedback . . . .) Plus there is a heck of a lot of difference between being a content provider and reacting to something that’s already out there. (I’m a book editor by trade, and I’ve always been sympathetic to authors when they say they’re stuck with a certain passage of text or section of a book—and the blank screen is facing them.)