Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Books

First, some biased suggestions for presents:

My and my wife's book on medieval and renaissance cooking—more than three hundred recipes, each with the original and how we do it, plus a variety of related articles. Just the thing for the cook in your life—or the medievalist.

This is the bigger book that the previous one is the cooking section of. Recipes, articles on how to make a pavilion, portable period furniture, a Germanic lyre, lots of other things, along with a good deal of my poetry and essays on historical recreation and related matters. Good if any of your friends are into historical recreation from the Middle Ages and/or Renaissance, especially through the Society for Creative Anachronism, a long term hobby of ours.

My most recent nonfiction book, good for futurologists, science fiction readers, and the proverbial intelligent layman. For whom my 


are also possibilities.

But the one I really want you to read, because I want more comments on it, is my second novel, Salamander. Extra credit for physics and math types if you can figure out what my version of magic is modeled on. 

For my unbiased recommendations, here are some of my past Christmas books—each the book that, for one year's Christmas, went to anybody I couldn't think of anything else for because I thought it was neat.

Talleyrand by Duff Cooper. Mostly for the fascinating subject, but it doesn't hurt that the author was the one member of Neville Chamberlain's cabinet who resigned over Munich.

and the book that just occurred to me for this year's Christmas book, some of our presents being given a few days late ...

And, for a final recommendation, His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, and sequels—a series I am currently rereading.


Anonymous said...

Hi, David.

Can you please make your books available on kindle? I live in Russia, where postal service is terrible, the delivery times for international packages are 1-2 months, not to mention high shipping costs. The only option for me is to read e-books.

Interestingly, some books are available, but some aren't. I guess, this is result of using different publishers, but maybe you, as the author, have some leverage to publish them online?

Anonymous said...

Also, there is a nice way to measure government efficiency by measuring efficiency of its postal services. I think you and your readers may find it interesting.

(It was no surprise for me to see Russia in the list of worst performers.)

David Friedman said...

I think Hidden Order is the only one of my books not available in some electronic version. Salamander is available only as a Kindle from Amazon, and all of the others are free—Harald, my first novel, which I didn't mention in the post, is on the Baen Free Library, and the others are linked to my web page.

Anonymous said...

Both "How to Milk an Almond, Stuff an Egg, and Armor a Turnip: A Thousand Years of Recipes" and "A Miscellany" aren't available on kindle.

I usually cook using simple recipes, but it was always interesting to me how medieval cooking looks like. Eventhough I never actively seek for such information, I believe it would be awesome to read a book from someone who's really into this topic.

Anonymous said...

Also, David, could you recommend other books on medieval cooking?

David Friedman said...

1. Our two books are not available on Kindle, but they are available, for free, as pdf's from my web site. And I believe a Kindle can read pdf's.

2. So far as other books on medieval cooking ... .

C. Anne Wilson, Food and Drink in Britain is one of the best secondary sources I know. My current favorite primary source is Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens, a big 10th century cookbook probably written by al-Warraq.

But it's expensive.

Doc Merlin said...

"Extra credit for physics and math types if you can figure out what my version of magic is modeled on. "

Vector notation Quantum Mechanics (well, Hilbert space linear algebra, really).
Btw, I loved that book. I want to buy a sequel!

David Friedman said...

You get the extra credit.

I would have said "multiple basis states," and offered as the (classical) example polarized light, viewable either as combinations of vertical and horizontal or as combinations of left handed and right handed circular. For QMech, that a particle can be described as a combination of eigen states of momentum or as a combination of eigen states of position.

The sequel is under constructions--let me know if you want to be a beta reader when I get a complete draft. It turns out that Alys is not such a feather brain as she chose to appear. The story centers on Kir and his cousin Eirick, Lord Iolen's son, but there isn't really a single protagonist, or even two.

Eirick, as Mari puts it, is a much nicer person than his father was.