Along with a couple of remaining childhood artifacts, Mom sent me The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket, which is fun, and precisely one of the kinds of books I enjoy reading; but then I started to think about exactly what kinds of books those are. I realized I have two broad categories, which are maybe best expressed as food:

  1. Fruit Books: The Zen of Fish, The Basque History of the World, America Afire, Against the Gods, Beasts of Eden. Popular science or history, or intelligent scifi or fantasy, stuff that rests the mind and that I usually finish quickly. Like fruit: fun, tastes good, necessary, but not good for monopolizing your diet.

  2. Carbohydrate Books: Denser Zen books, Ayurveda, technical books, Godel, Escher, Bach. Thick, time-consuming material that can take months to work through, but rewards with a deeper understanding of material usually touched on by Fruit Books.