Friday, September 04, 2015

why the strange font choice?

If there's one thing I can't seem to get past, it's the fact that this book I just finished is making strange use of italics. Here, let me show you a picture:

Image result for life from scratch

What on earth is going on here? Why does each section and each chapter title have one letter italicized? Why would someone do that to me? Don't they realize I'm teaching a document design course, and even if I weren't, I'd still find it alarming?

Here's the deal: given my puzzling over the damn font, I focus on that in my discussion rather than telling you about this vaguely interesting book I just finished. I say vaguely interesting because it's enjoyable, but much like the wine I'm currently enjoying, it doesn't stand out in my mind like the magnificent Poor Man's Feast. Daaaaaaamn was that book was good.

I digress.

Sasha Martin sets out to tell the motivations behind her blog, Global Table Adventure, and ends up telling us the story of her rough and fractured childhood. When her mother is compelled to give them up to be raised by friends who seemingly have a more stable home, it sets off a series of tragedies, not to mention the fear and uncertainly young Sasha experiences. She begins to find her way through cooking and eating, rooting her to the happier moments of her poverty-stricken childhood, where pouring cranberry juice on cereal became a treat, not a moment of desperate necessity.

These stories are compelling, and she weaves the recipes and food memories of her young life and her growing up, marriage, and the birth of her daughter. In her later discovery of a measure of happiness and successful relationships, she begins cooking the world, an act that brings her back to the past, joyful and painful memories alike.

Overall, Martin's book has memorable moments and interesting stories, and it ends full of optimism and joy, not to mention some tantalizing recipes, like Cambodian Grilled Eggs that L and I are fascinated by. But it's the strange font that I can't get out of my head. Perhaps I shall inquire of the publisher or the author why they chose to format the titles like that...

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