If words be food for the soul, read on. These collected commentaries by Eve Johnson, who has worked for CBC Radio's Basic Black, The Vancouver Sun, and The National Post, reveal her ability to dig up kernels of insight, whether the subject is lemon meringue pie, the folly of dieting, or a tongue-in-cheek defense of Twinkies. Just as many can inhale a fast-food lunch while driving down the highway, it's easy to devour this book, yet the voracious should take note: Johnson's essays are more like separate courses of a fine meal, meant to be savored and appreciated individually. While this isn't a cookbook, the author sprinkles in recipes for the unforgettable dishes she's encountered, including mangoes with sticky rice and chicken with 40 cloves of garlic (not 39, not 42). And the title essay on Marilyn Monroe simply begs to be read, preferably aloud, anytime you get near an artichoke.
Eating My Words: How Marilyn Monroe is Like a Grilled Artichoke and Other Observations on Food By Eve Johnson (Whitecap Books, $16.95)