Report on 52 Loaves

by William Alexander

From Our Correspondent:
I really enjoyed this book. The structure of the quest with digressions on related history and evolution to current state seems to be one that attracts me. I would describe it as akin to Bill Bryson approach. The topic here is narrower and the digressions less frequent or wide-ranging – but continually engaging nevertheless. I found it very easy to read.

I particularly resonated with the theme that arose a couple of times – that we can get quite inured to our own expertise. About halfway through the book, he is quite critical of his bread – yet his wife says that it is very good – his best yet. There is a similar incident later (or was it earlier) in the book. I think this is an interesting recurring real-life theme – people often become obsessed with minor imperfections in their own work/lives and fail to see that they are 98% of achieving ‘perfection’ – spending 30% more time to get the last 2-5% done is often a poor allocation of time!!

The other small touch I particularly liked was the sudden revulsion at considering taking the apple – the respect/fondness for growing/living from the land brought by his experience over the year removed a lot of the distance most people now have between what they eat and where it came from.

I’d give it 6.5-7 out of ten. Losing a few marks only because it lacks a bit of depth and breadth compared, say, to BB as mentioned above – but a very enjoyable read.

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