Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky (Knopf Canada, 2002); audiobook read by Scott Brick (Phoenix Books, 2003) A comprehensive discourse on the role salt has played in shaping world history and individual cultures. Unfortunately, Kurlansky loses focus and digresses—often at great length—into subsidiary areas of food preparation. His inclusion of recipes is particularly grating in audiobook form.
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky (Jonathan Cape, 1998) Comprehensively researched, and written in an engaging style (though the start-of-chapter quotes and end-of-chapter recipes could easily have been omitted), Kurlansky’s history of trout fishing is of interest beyond the fate of the much-revered fish. International politics, economics and exploration feature heavily.