Good book readings were abundant in New York this week.
On Thursday, The Daily Show's Samantha Bee read from her new book, "I Know I Am, But What Are You?" On Wednesday, Ben H. Winters (author of "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters") read from his new "Android Karenina."
But the only reading I went to starred my travel-chef hero, Anthony Bourdain.
Paul and I always have a few "No Reservations" episodes waiting for us on the DVR, and we even went to the restaurant where Bourdain formerly was a chef, Les Halles, for Paul's birthday last December.
What's more, Paul and I both recently read his decade-old book, "Kitchen Confidential," and really enjoyed it. So when we heard he was promoting his new book, "Medium Raw," at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square, it didn't take us long to decide we had to be there.
Unfortunately, everyone else decided that too.
We arrived about 20 minutes before he was scheduled to take stage, which was way too late. By that time, it was by far standing room only, with probably a couple of hundred fans in the seats and at least another hundred standing in front of us.
I'll definitely be checking out the book, but I wasn't particularly looking forward to the reading (unsurprisingly, it sounded exactly like one of his voiceovers from the show). I was waiting for the Q&A. Here's what I learned:
- Anthony Bourdain would rather eat heads of little puppies than upset his hosts by refusing them.
- Fans who slip him baggies of coke at book readings baffle him.
- The best city to visit for food is Tokyo. Paul was especially pleased when he heard this because he wore his t-shirt from the Tsukiji Fish Market, which Bourdain specifically mentioned.