In Memory of Bread
This intelligent and engaging story follows Paul Graham's attempts to come to grips with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that leads to damage of the small intestine when gluten is consumed. It also follows his trials and errors learning to navigate a world full of gluten filled products that he can no longer consume. With so many people going gluten free these days this book seems well timed. I think it will be of particular interest to those who have, if not celiac disease, some other form of food allergy. Those who do not suffer from food allergies probably never stop to think how much life would change if they constantly had to be aware of everything they consumed. Luckily, the author seems to have had generous friends and family who supported him throughout his ordeal.
This book is about more than the author's personal journey because not only does it cover questions relating to the dominance of wheat in western diets and why celiac disease may be on the rise it looks at why wheat and gluten is so well matched to our current lifestyles. Also, if you have ever shopped in the gluten free aisle in the grocery store you have probably noticed the very high prices. Graham covers this aspect as well. Before reading this book, I was unaware of the cost involved in producing gluten free products.
The story also recounts the authors attempts to get to know less well know grains, which didn't always satisfy his wants or needs. While I can't imagine the upheaval this posed to the author's life I can sympathize with him a great deal. Especially, since he presents his struggles and accomplishments in a gluten infested world with humor and candor that makes this book an interesting read. His writing style is both intimate and elegant and frankly it made me think we should all probably appreciate the food we consume far more than we do.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.