The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell

by Mark Kurlansky | History |
ISBN: 9780345476395 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingmaryzeewing of Taneytown, Maryland USA on 6/28/2009
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Sunday, June 28, 2009
I love well-written (and readable, not dry) non-fiction and history. Found this today at the Book Thing. (I've got Cod on Mt. TBR, but haven't gotten around to reading any of Kurlansky yet, but I've always heard good things about his books.)

From the cover -
Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of New York by following the trajectory of one of its most fascinating inhabitants - the oyster.
For centuries New York was famous for this particular shellfish, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant role in the city's life that the abundant bivalves were Gotham's most celebrated export, a staple food for all classes, and a natural filtration system for the city's congested waterways.
Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insights - along with vintage recipes, maps, drawings, and photos - this dynamic narrative sweeps readers from the seventeenth-century founding of New York to the death of its oyster beds and the rise of America's environmentalist movement, from the oyster cellars of the rough-and-tumble Five Points slum to Manhattan's Gilded Age dining chambers. With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious.

Journal Entry 2 by wingmaryzeewing at Taneytown, Maryland USA on Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I really enjoyed this book; it's the first one I've read by Kurlansky, although I also have Cod to read soon.

This book was very well-written, and easy to read and follow. Well-researched with lots of anecdotes about oysters in the 18th/19th centuries, and how they came to be enjoyed by everyone, rich and poor. I'm not an oyster lover (although for some strange reason, I love oyster dressing, I guess it's cause with the other poultry-type seasonings, they're not as noticeable), but I enjoyed this tale of the marine delicacies. As a resident of the Chesapeake Bay State, I found the maritime details of this tale very interesting. Never realized that New York used to be famous for their oysters, although I found it interesting that the watermen took Chesapeake Bay seed oysters to New York waterways to transplant them.

This book has really fit in well with some of my recent and upcoming reads. I recently read Nathaniel's Nutmeg which tells about Hudson's explorations of the river and bay named for him, and the Dutch settlement in New Amsterdam.
Upcoming books include Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, another tale from Kurlansky that I'm looking forward to, and The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan which will be more about the modern New York City that we know.

This is reserved for my upcoming Biographies of Things bookbox.

Journal Entry 3 by wingmaryzeewing at Biographies of Things, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, February 12, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (2/13/2012 UTC) at Biographies of Things, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases


Sending out in my Biographies of Things bookbox. Enjoy!

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Journal Entry 4 by innae at Aurora, Colorado USA on Friday, March 02, 2012
Fish and their kin are not my interest, so going to put this one back in MaryZee's books about things bookbox.

Journal Entry 5 by wingk00kaburrawing at San Jose, California USA on Monday, April 02, 2012
This book enjoyed a brief visit in San Jose, California before continuing its travels with the Biographies of Things bookbox!

Journal Entry 6 by Bluestocking88 at Longview, Washington USA on Thursday, July 19, 2012
I selected this book from MaryZee's Biography of Things bookbox. Looks like a great read. Thanks!

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