This gift was in my holiday stocking, snuggled next to a gift certificate from the Davis Beer Shoppe and a bag of Kauai Coffee Koloa Estate beans. “Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing” compiles a millennium of literature related to one of the most universal human experiences. It includes writings from ancient Rome on the morality of eating meat as well as modern musings on Hot Dog on a Stick by the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold. In between is an essay on the political manifestos of PETA, a piece of short fiction by Anton Chekhov about a boy eating oysters for the first time, and so much more. And for those who like to fly the local flag, this anthology has a Sacramento-area connection: Co-editor Sandra M. Gilbert is a professor emerita of English at UC Davis. Sink into your favorite reading chair and dig in.
W. W. Norton & Company, $19.95, 512 pages