Banksy's Book Report is where I give no-BS book reviews of what's been on my nightstand lately - complete with bonus food and beverage pairings! Please feel free to tell me I'm wrong/crazy/dumb/genius, as well as throw your book recommendations my way.
The deal: This kid named Paul becomes a mysterious figure, Maud'Dib, to avenge a bunch of bad guys who betrayed his family. All on the desert planet Arrakis. I'll stop there before we get too deep into the sand worms and hydration via bodily fluids.
Is it worth it?: If you're still reading this after hearing things like "desert planet" and "sand worm," go for it. Buckle up for some pretty gnarly science fiction, though. The story and complexity of Herbert's universe are mind-blowing.
Pairs well with: An open mind, spice beer, sweat
The deal: Sal Paradise travels across the US half a million times chasing girls and adventure and the man-child Dean Moriarty. Spoiler alert: his aunt bank rolls him constantly.
Is it worth it?: See above description. I wanted to like this so much, but I couldn't help eye-rolling through it. The details of Dean and Sal's nights on the town start to get old real quick. If you're a white male with wanderlust and a general disregard for responsibility, have at it.
Pairs well with: Apple pie and ice cream, whiskey, "tea"
The deal: Abdul and his wife Kathy are muslims living in New Orleans when Katrina hits. This true story hashes out the days leading up to and following the hurricane. An interesting cross section between how our government handled disaster relief and terrorist threats in the not so distant past.
Is it worth it?: I think so. Eggers is excellent, per usual. Do yourself a favor though, and don't read the "where are they now" before you dive into the book. It turns out Zeitoun may actually be a horrible person - and in that context, the story is hard to swallow.
Pairs well with: Bottled water, a canoe
The deal: A bunch of chic French women banded together and wrote this light and fluffy book full of tips, advice and confessions.
Is it worth it?: No. Definitely not. I couldn't even finish it. More eye-rolling than On The Road. Everything in here Garance Doré has done 200 times better, with more humor and humility.
Pairs well with: A "signature scent," messy hair, coq au vin, cigarettes
The deal: A collection of surprisingly user-friendly and interesting recipes from all of your favorite Portlandia characters.
Is it worth it?: Hell yes - especially if you're a Portlandia fan. The book is full of wacky diagrams and jokes, aside from the recipes. Overall, considerably less gimmicky than you'd imagine.
Pairs well with: Tappas, ginger-based bourbon drinks, local free-range organic chicken