About the site

We all have books we like, love, or loathe. New books appear all the time. Some people recommend old classics. What makes them good or bad?

Browsing the shelves of a bookstore, you rarely know what to choose. Clicking through pages of online bookstores is tiring and it’s hard to know which customer reviews are trustworthy. Imagine if one website could help you to quickly understand the good and bad about a book on the shelf? That’s The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf. Welcome!

The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf is a collaborative book review site covering a wide range of titles on food, wine and gastronomy. There may also be reviews of movies and software.

It’s easy to be enthusiastic about a book. It’s easy to dislike a book. It’s harder to find out what’s actually good or bad, and whether the reviewer can be relied on. I’ll never forget the customer review of David Thompson’s stunning and compendious Thai Food that said something like “this book is crap because the recipes are all too hard”.

The site has been created to help fill the gap between customer reviews on sites like Amazon and food media reviews that are often (though not always) just overenthusiastic recommendations without much attempt at painting a clear picture.

Reviewers will come from many walks of life and provide an informative perspective on the books they review. Site visitors and other reviewers are welcome to add extra information and external links to other reviews.

The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf is not primarily a commercial project. Knowledge and helping food and wine lovers is the primary goal. If the site earns enough money to sustain it, the aim would be to reward loyal reviewers for their efforts in some form. To this end, the site will from time to time carry advertising and may use affiliate links to promote sources of income.

If you have questions or ideas, feel free to contact me privately (contact page) or leave a public message below (the choice is yours, but questions that aren’t of interest to others are best sent privately). Please DO NOT use the public comments for promotional activities of any sort.

- Duncan Markham, Editor

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7 Comments

  1. Posted 14 Dec 2008 at 13:54 | Permalink

    The site looks fantastic. You have done an awesome job. You have been very busy. I am looking forward to reading your reviews and I may pass on a review myself. Keep up the good work. XO

  2. Posted 19 Dec 2008 at 14:40 | Permalink

    Love it, Duncan.
    This is really going to be a successful site.
    Cheers,
    Elra

  3. Posted 19 Dec 2008 at 14:42 | Permalink

    Oh I must include Mark too. Both of you are really excellent!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  4. Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 08:05 | Permalink

    Hey, I saw your post over at foodblogscool about the Subscribe function and followed the link. very nice site! I am a big fan of all books so I applaud the concept as well as the presentation! Keep up the good work!

  5. Posted 29 Mar 2010 at 14:32 | Permalink

    Haven’t stopped by for a while- visited today and was stocked to see it all looking so good! Well done! I love this site.

  6. Posted 02 Jul 2010 at 09:12 | Permalink

    I just stumbled on your site. As a cookbook author, I want to point out that Australian publishers paved the way for the present food styling “style” that inspired stylists and photographers the world over (including for some of my cookbooks.) I’ll keep checking your bookshelf!

    All the best,

    Kitty Morse, author
    Cooking at the Kasbah

  7. Gerard D Souza
    Posted 07 Aug 2011 at 20:47 | Permalink

    Compliments.A well loaded site and a must see for chefs.Keep up the good work.CHEERS.

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