Speaking of books

READ STREET

August 24, 2008|By dave rosenthal and nancy johnston | dave rosenthal and nancy johnston,dave.rosenthal@baltsun.com and nancy.johnston@baltsun.com

Welcome to a new feature in The Baltimore Sun's coverage of books: a weekly column related to the Read Street blog.

Just as we do in the blog, we'll be writing about book-related news and personalities, with an emphasis on the Baltimore area. Recently, we debated whether Edgar Allan Poe was a Northern or Southern writer. We confessed to our literary sins, including great books that we have never read. And we explored the connection between books and the worlds of music and movies. We've also used the blog to create interactive features, including a monthly calendar of events and a map of favorite bookstores across the U.S.

This week, we'll be discussing books about food. And not just the classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook we all grew up with. Foods have inspired modern classics such as Chocolat, social commentaries such as Fast Food Nation and the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winner Empire Falls, a work that focuses on the history and future of a family and the place it calls home, with a diner backdrop. Join the conversation online and you can even win a food-related tome.

As for recent posts, here are a few comments from the Poe debate:

"Poe has long been considered a Southern writer. When I took a course on Southern Writers at N.C. State in 1981, one of our assignments was to choose one of Poe's works and identify the characteristics that qualified it as Southern literature. It was pretty easy to do." - Sean Dail

"Philadelphia, more than any other city, gave him the inspiration and environment that allowed his genius to blossom. Poe's 'formative' years as a writer, the years when he fully developed his genius, were nurtured by Philly." - Ed Pettit

To join the conversation, go to baltimoresun.com/readstreet (where you can also find profiles of book clubs and recommendations from stores) or e-mail us. You can also call Dave at 410-332-6956.

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