Monday, February 23, 2015


Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a cynical waiter

I judged this book by its cover - it stood out! On a shelf at the library, surrounded by mundane food related books, it caught my eye. I noticed the quote on the cover from Anthony Bourdain. I thought, if this book is anything like Bourdain's books I'll love it.
It was no Kitchen Confidential, but, the Waiter Rant was ok. It gave me the basics of what I expected - a behind the scenes peek into the life of the wait staff. I learned a lot about what holidays are like to waiters, how not to make and break reservations, and what the minimum level of tipping is required before you are called a bad name. The rest of the book was a mix of stories, highlighting the terrible behavior some customers exhibit. The running theme was that some diners thought themselves superior to the lowly serving staff. The way it was written could have come across as whiny, which most reviewers have commented about, however, I did not view it that way. I saw it as a working mans rant about the world he was throw into. 
If you like memoirs on anything foodie, you'll love this. If you cannot stand books with characters who complain, then do not order this book.


Monday, February 2, 2015



A fast paced read that takes us on a treasure hunt across the world. It's overflowing with action and adventure - a book that lives up to the genre Action/Adventure. But, along with that comes some unbelievable moments. You know? The scene were the bad guys empty their guns and miss with every bullet, while the hero takes one shot that kills three of them. You have to take the good with the bad. In this book there was more good than bad.
A treasure hunting couple stumble upon a WWII German sub hidden in a swamp, while a local antique dealer attempts to sell a broken piece of an old wine bottle. These two events start a whirlwind adventure that takes a treasure hunting couple across the world. It also challenges them to become experts on Napoleon Bonaparte's obscure wine collection in order to solve riddles that lead them to the jackpot pile of spartan gold...sadly, there is no Dragon named Smaug sitting on top of the pile of gold.
This book reminds me of the James Bond collection, which I have been making my way through recently. They both give off the same attitude (if a book can do that?), where the main characters are invincible, have unbelievably good luck, and can solve obscure riddles with impossible ease. This could never happen in real life, but, it makes for some pretty good story lines. I don't know how many times the treasure hunters in this book outwitted the mafia type thugs that were hunting them down. Even in the few hand to hand battles, the smaller treasure hunters managed to win with a well placed judo kick or a spot on hundred yard throw of a brick that smashes into the thugs head while narrowly missing the other treasure hunters face that is only millimeters away. If you are reading this kind of book you have to turn off your logic/reality brain and just go with it. Accept that it is fiction and enjoy the fakeness of it all.
This is the first Cussler book I've read. It was a Christmas present from my daughter, who found it at a special event they have at their school where they can pick up free presents for family members. It is all donated stuff that allows the kids to bring home a surprise present for Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, whoever. She thought this book looked like other books I read. Good pick by her.