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Review: ‘Anything That Moves’ by Dana Goodyear

Review: ‘Anything That Moves’ by Dana Goodyear post image

Title: Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters and the Making of a New American Food Culture
Author: Dana Goodyear
Genre: Nonfiction
Year: 2013
Publisher: Riverhead
Acquired: From the publisher for review consideration
Rating: ★★★★☆

From Bloggers Recommend: American foodies and wannabes are moving to the fringes of cuisine in pursuit of new delicacies (some disgusting, other dangerous). Dana Goodyear explores this extreme, underground food culture with a sense of adventure and a strong stomach. Pick up this book if you’ve ever seen a dish (in person or just on television) and wondered, Is that really food?

Review: Although I had to give up my subscription to The New Yorker, one of my nonfiction weaknesses is books written by staff writers or contributors to that magazine. No matter the subject, having that little endorsement indicates, to me, that at the very least the book is going to be well reported and well written. All that is to say that I may not have picked up Anything That Moves if author Dana Goodyear wasn’t a staff writer at The New Yorker, which would have been a shame since this was definitely an enjoyable read.

In Anything That Moves, Goodyear goes behind the scenes of America’s extreme foodie culture, with an attitude that seems like a mix between Mary Roach and Anthony Bourdain. She interviews chefs that are cooking with food banned by the FDA, dealers providing illegal and/or endangered delicacies, and scavengers who make it possible to cook with insects and other taboo foods. These are people who are on the far edges of what most of us would consider “normal” eating who are helping fundamentally change the way we think about what we eat.

There are quite a few characters in this book who share and eat and enjoy and revel in foods that made my stomach turn just reading about them. This is a subculture that I’ll never, ever find myself in, which makes it a fun read. Goodyear is very open-minded about the people she meets and honest about both the benefits and dangers of making different food choices more mainstream. If you’re at all into food nonfiction, this book should move to the top of your reading list.

Other Reviews:

If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) December 5, 2013, 9:52 am

    I have a feeling Carl would enjoy this book!

  • bookmammal December 5, 2013, 10:12 am

    I love reading about food almost as much as I enjoy cooking and eating, so I’m going to have to add this to my TBR list!
    I did a “Tuesday Ten” post about my favorite food books a few weeks ago–here’s the link in case you’re interested–

  • Meg December 5, 2013, 10:45 am

    How interesting and unique! I can get a little squeamish thinking about eating certain foods (and insects . . . wow, no), but I still have a feeling I’d enjoy this one.

    • Kim December 9, 2013, 7:36 pm

      There were parts that definitely made me squeamish too. I’m not a very adventurous eater, so almost everything was out of my comfort zone 🙂

  • Kailana December 5, 2013, 12:24 pm

    I have to admit I have never read many foodie type books. I guess because I am not a huge food person in the sense I hate cooking for the most part. I really should try some of the ones people seem to enjoy, though! It might change me for the better? Or make me hate cooking even more… haha

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel December 6, 2013, 1:46 am

    I’m not a big cooking person (I only do it when necessary, which is suprisingly not all that often), but I already have someone in mind that would LOVE this as a Christmas gift. And, they are not a book blogger, so they likely won’t bet getting it already. Thanks!

    • Kim December 9, 2013, 7:36 pm

      I think anyone who is even a bit of a foodie would like this one. It’s a fun look at an extreme subculture.

  • tanya December 6, 2013, 8:11 am

    I totally know what you mean about book by people who write for the New Yorker. You just know they are going to be good. And I’ve heard so many good things about this book. I will get to it eventually as I’m giving it to my husband for christmas!

    • Kim December 9, 2013, 7:36 pm

      The writing never disappoints me in those books!

  • Sheila (Book JOurney) December 6, 2013, 9:22 am

    I love these kind of books. I started reading this one and put it down for some reason but need to pick it up again, I was enjoying it – even when it grossed me out. 🙂