October 16, 2011
Honey and Dust by Piers Moore Ede
After being hit by a truck, Piers Moore Ede decides while recuperating that he would like to write a book about bees and honey, most specifically the honey trail through the world. It will be a challenge because he is not a bee keeper himself, but he's always loved honey and wanted to know more about the different varieties. He travels mostly in the middle east, Lebanon, Syria, India, Nepal, and other places. Each place his main goal is to learn the original ways of keeping bees and about the wild bees and the way their honey was gathered. Sadly, because this is the Middle East during a war time and because of the multiple diseases bees face everywhere, he finds the old ways dying out and the bees dying out. Still, he learns a lot about bee culture and tastes some pretty unique varieties. He also goes into a description of some baklava that makes my mouth water as well.
Piers does really connect with the people he visits well. They respond to his genuine interest in all things honey, and also the questions about their culture. The veiled insults towards America and the president at the time probably help him as well. The people he meets were all rather interesting. Totally different from one another, they still have one thing in common, bees.
So with all this wonderful information about honey and the old ways of collecting it, whats wrong with this book? Well, he travels all over and quite a bit of the story is devoted to his accident and recuperation and it actually takes a big portion of the book. He also has a description of a 10 day silent yoga retreat that was somewhat out of place as well. So honestly this would probably be more of a memoir, I just couldn't seem to get into that part. But when he talks about food and honey and the things made with it, that's where he shines. I really enjoyed those descriptions and he made me see the way the honey was gathered extremely well. I also wish there would have been more pictures of his travels aside from just the one on the cover. It would have been interesting.
Not a bad book, but not what I was expecting either. I was really looking forward to being doused in honey. And it really only shared a spotlight with everything else.
Honey and Dust