These days, it's often noted that food has displaced art, sport and even sex as the literary mind's propulsive muse. The single cookie that launched poor Proust on his interior odyssey feels shockingly modest compared with the vast smorgasbord today's writers seem almost compelled to revel in.
There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about — or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day. Here are a few books that swept away some of our favorite critics.
The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game and it features — no big surprise — zombie-like creatures. But these are not the same old zombies that have dominated movie and TV screens in the past few years.
Neil Druckmann, creative director for The Last of Us, says he wanted a fresh new way to wipe out humanity — and he found it in a BBC documentary series called Planet Earth, which depicts the scary effects of the Cordyceps fungus.
New York City has long been considered the nation's epicenter for all things culinary. The borough of Manhattan had more than 6,000 restaurants at last count. And the city has the most three-star Michelin-starred restaurants in the country — closing in on Paris.
But lately, some cooks have begun to go elsewhere to make names for themselves.
Among the reasons for the culinary exodus: Chefs' obsession with local ingredients is making smaller communities a lot more appealing.
Mark Takahashi is now one of the "car people" at <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/">Edmunds.com</a> — but at the age of 2, the future automotive editor, like his co-worker Mike MaGrath, was more of a toy-car person.
Credit Courtesy Mark Takahashi
Felix Holst, left, is the head designer of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars for Mattel. Holst demonstrates some of his team's designs to Aaron Schrank, center, and Sonari Glinton.