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What are you reading this Summer

Kushal Goyal

Restaurateur, Food Writer and Photographer, Filmmaker
Founder of Cafe Metta and Kathmandu Foodies – Nepal’s first online food magazine

Books you love
Books that are about travel and food interest me the most though I never limit myself to a specific genre. The amount of material to devour is unfathomable. If you have a pursuit of knowledge and need that intellectual stimulation you cannot possibly limit yourself and rather should not. I started with reading classic literature back in the days. I have tried my hands at classics from the likes of Maxim Gorky, Thoreau to the fad books of our times such as Paulo Coelho. However, one book that has had a profound effect on me and got me hooked to reading is 1984 by George Orwell. This book, written in 1949 has been relevant to every passing generation that comes across it. 1984 is a timeless metaphorical saga by a mind-blowing visionary George Orwell. As a writer myself, this book has inspired me to write equally powerful and timeless stories.


Favourite genre
I am more of a non-fiction person. While there is no dearth of writer’s fictional imagination, the kind of issues and happenings in real world is what we are gravely unaware of. Thus such books are great source of knowledge. There is so much to consume, be amazed and learn in these short lives of ours. The imagination has no limit but “it’s a wonderful world”

Favourite spot and time to read
I am ‘pro-ebook’ school of thought. Complementing our fast track lifestyles, technology has helped us acquire books on the go and managed to replicate the experience of reading the hardcopy even closer. I do multiple readings at once. I always have a paper book while one book in each of my ebook devices. My favourite spot has to be a quaint little corner of my room where I have zillions of permutation and combinations of positions to read my books. On the outdoor I love reading in restaurants around the vicinity of heritage sites like I often do around Boudhanath Stupa. It’s inspiring.

A message to the readers:
“For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.”  – Reading is about living many lives squeezing in this dot of span that our lives are.”- Louis L’Amour

Summer recommendations

The practical guide to investigate how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.

Everybody is somehow more interested in talking about food lately. We are watching it even more on our television and social media. It is very important to learn from a primitive standpoint as to how food shaped us. Cooked is an essential reading for everyone because food is common to all of us. I consider this a beyond genre book, one that is impossible to read and not act on. Sip your iced tea this summer while you read this and ponder about where that lemon came from.

Writers have often used food as metaphor for love, life, politics, and more. In Emile Zola’s “The Belly of Paris” the writer skilfully weaves food into the everyday aspect of nineteenth-century Paris life, while keeping an artistic eye on food.
Quirky adventures and misfortune of its character Florent though among the artistically portrayed food markets of Paris makes a great entertaining read for anybody. Read 50 pages of this book and take a 4am trip to the vegetable market at Kalimati and experience the belly of Kathmandu. Everything in this book then makes instant sense.