Get Jiro! Blood and Sushi, by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Ale Garza & Jose Villarrubia (Vertigo Books, 2015)

Young Jiro’s two secret lives – as a yakuza boss’s son and as a trainee sushi chef – come into conflict. Splendid prequel, offering the same mix as the first volume: blood, guts, humour, and some insight into the ritual and patience involved in becoming a sushi master. Works well as a stand-alone and as an entry point to Jiro’s world.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful, by Darryl Cunningham (Myriad Editions, 2019)

Three case studies of extreme wealth and power: Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Jeff Bezos. A confident blend of biography and polemic, clearly making the argument that power corrupts, and that money distorts. Lots to ponder on here, rendered in a  chirpy and accessible graphic format. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Landscapes of Detectorists, edited by Innes M Keighren & Joanne Norcup (Uniform Books, 2020)

Academic essays on the BBC single-camera comedy Detectorists, plus context from writer/star/director Mackenzie Crook, and original producer Adam Tandy. Focusing on the programme’s engagements with landscape, history, and gender relations, this is a fine introduction to the thematic richness and blokeish pleasures of the series. Volume II, please!

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts, by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & many others (Berger Books, 2018)

Nine Japanese stories of food, folklore, and supernatural revenge. Excellent compilation of traditional tales, delivered with twist-in-the-tale EC Comics-style glee. Lots to enjoy and to appreciate, not least in the book’s sumptuous presentation, and in the accompanying recipes and guide to ghosts and demons of the Edo period. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

 

Thunderbook: The World of Bond According to SmershPod, by John Rain (Polaris, 2019)

An overview of the Eon James Bond films to date. And not a very good one, either. Unlike the genial podcast which this book spins off from, this film-by-film precis doesn’t add much more than scattershot snark and the same overworked observations. A few useful bits of trivia emerge, but this is a disappointing, laboured, and repetitive effort.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Langdon Foss & Jose Villarrubia (Vertigo Books, 2012)

In a food-obsessed alt-LA, a solitary sushi chef plays rival culinary gangs off against each other. Fun Jojimbo variant, with plenty of gags about foodie lifestyles, some tips on how to approach sushi with respect, plus an abundance of pulp-noir violence, characters, and attitude.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Trick, by William Leith (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020)

The journalist explores the secret to making money, through reflecting on his parlous financial life and on his wealthy interview subjects. Typically self-absorbed and confident, Leith’s third book is a zippy treat, even if you might not want to spend time with anyone featured in it. The trick itself is revealed on p.198.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.