In my second post of #comedybookweek I will be reviewing (with absolute pleasure) the absolutely hilarious Do Not Wash Hands in Plates (“DNWHIP”) by Barb Taub.
*I purchased my review copy from Amazon
DNWHIP follows the adventures of long term friends Barb, Janine and Jaya on their travels through cultural and culinary India.
“Her secret – indeed the secret to all driving in India – is the horn. I have no idea what my own car horn sounds like, or even whether I’ve ever heard it. Honking in the UK is just so rude. But in India the horn functions as automotive sonar, warning everything and everyone on the road of your approach.”
Barb and her friends met at University in the seventies and have been friends ever since. What really resonated with me through this travel memoir was the strength of their friendship and their unflinching support of each other through some real navigational issues and challenging digestive issues. Poor Barb fell foul to the infamous Delhi Belly!
As well as the unmistakable bond between the friends, I really enjoyed the insight into Indian culture, especially the tip that you should “Beware the Special Suitcase” of specially-tailored goodies that street vendors will produce out of thin air to entice you to buy their wares.
The food journey and learning the importance of food in Indian culture was another thing that I particularly enjoyed about this book. The descriptions of the various taste sensations were so vivid that I was left hungry and craving some spicy food (Thanks Barb!). I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in a predominantly Indian part of London and one distinct advantage, was the abundance of affordable fresh, tasty and amazingly spiced food. Barb’s penchant for parathas was utterly endearing because dear reader, they are insanely delicious and deceptively simple in appearance.
“Until this trip, my tastebuds led a sheltered life. That all changed at our guesthouse in Delhi, when the cooks set a beautiful omelet in front of me, My American self admired the veggies, including the chopped green peppers that added so much color. One bite later, and my tastebuds went from innocent bystanders to drive-by victims of green chili omelet assault.”
Overall, I would give this read a 4/5 leaves. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read packed with colour illustrations and hilarious accompanying captions, tasty food, great cultural experiences, friendship and bucketfuls of humour. My only criticism is that I felt that I wanted more. But that’s just greed…
Jaya’s reiteration that “People in India are kind…” proved to be an absolute truism in the book whereby the kindness of strangers proved to make the tour more interesting for the trio. Elephant sightings and all.
In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several American newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side and an HR career. Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle and a hobbit house with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Now all her days are Saturdays, and she spends them traveling around the world, plus consulting with her daughter on Marvel heroes, Null City, and translating from British to American.
Barb takes a humorous look at writing, book reviews, and life at Writing & Coffee. Especially Coffee. Her books are available from major online sellers including Amazon US and Amazon UK. When she’s not traveling or blogging her latest travel disaster, you can find her at home in Glasgow, Scotland trying to hide from feral packs of rampaging haggis. Or you can reach her via Twitter (@barbtaub) or Facebook. She would love to hear from you!
Nonfiction: Do Not Wash Hands in Plates text by Barb Taub, photos by Janine Smith & Jayalakshmi Ayyer
The story of three women eating our way across India in search of adventure, elephants, temples, palaces, western toilets, monkeys, the perfect paratha…and the kindness of Indian strangers.
Fiction: Null City series
Warden Carey Parker’s to-do list is already long enough: find her brother and sister, rescue her roommate, save Null City, and castrate her ex-boyfriend. Preferably with a dull-edged garden tool. A rusty one.
Carey knows superpowers suck, her own included. From childhood she’s only had two options. She can take the Metro train to Null City and a normal life. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes. Or she can master the powers of her warrior gift and fight a war she can’t win, in a world where she never learned how to lose.
It just would have been nice if someone told her the angels were all on the other side.
Coming soon to Leaves et Livres for #comedybookweek
July 18th – Interview with Barb Taub, author of Do Not Wash Hands in Plates
July 21 st – Book Review of Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer? by Portia Porter Esq.
July 22nd – Interview with Portia Porter Esq., author of Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer?
Watch this space…
Check out the Comedy Book Week site for details of all upcoming events during the funniest literary week of the year…probably.