The Almost Nearly Perfect People

Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

The Almost Nearly Perfect People

The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic and hygge that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades. 'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times Winner of the Best Narrative Travel Book Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers

The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth (Summary)

The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth (Summary)

Do you want more free book summaries like this? Download our app for free at https://www.QuickRead.com/App and get access to hundreds of free book and audiobook summaries. The Almost Nearly Perfect People (2014) is author Michael Booth’s exploration of the cultural belief that Scandinavia is a cultural utopia. Examining our fascination with everything from IKEA to Spotify, Booth takes readers on a journey through the content to deconstruct our misconceptions and ground our fascination in a bit of realism.

Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

The only thing funnier than marriage is Rick and Bubba talkin' about it! Rick and Bubba are at it again, and this time it is all about marriage. Addressing such topics as apologizing (The Ten Worst Ways to Say I’m Sorry), communication (Grunting Is Not a Language), date nights (Worst Date Nights in History), finances (I Thought You Paid the Gas Bill), and playing sports together (I Did Too Let You Win), the two "sexiest fat men alive" will have couples everywhere tied in knots. With stories, top ten lists, and even a bonus addendum of their oft mentioned, "The Book of Blame," this humorous look at marriage is long overdue. This book will revolutionize your way of looking at married life. And it might just remind you all over again why you fell in love in the first place.

Super Sushi Ramen Express

One Family's Journey Through the Belly of Japan

Super Sushi Ramen Express

From the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People comes Super Sushi Ramen Express, a fascinating and funny culinary journey through Japan Japan is arguably the preeminent food nation on earth; it’s a mecca for the world’s greatest chefs and has more Michelin stars than any other country. The Japanese go to extraordinary lengths and expense to eat food that is marked both by its exquisite preparation and exotic content. Their creativity, dedication, and courage in the face of dishes such as cod sperm and octopus ice cream are only now beginning to be fully appreciated in the sushi and ramen-saturated West, as are the remarkable health benefits of the traditional Japanese diet. Food and travel writer Michael Booth takes the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan, learning fascinating tips and recipes that few westerners have been privy to before. Accompanied by two fussy eaters under the age of six, he and his wife travel the length of the country, from bear-infested, beer-loving Hokkaido to snake-infested, seaweed-loving Okinawa. Along the way, they dine with—and score a surprising victory over—sumo wrestlers, pamper the world’s most expensive cows with massage and beer, share a seaside lunch with free-diving female abalone hunters, and meet the greatest chefs working in Japan today. Less happily, they witness a mass fugu slaughter, are traumatized by an encounter with giant crabs, and attempt a calamitous cooking demonstration for the lunching ladies of Kyoto.

Three Tigers, One Mountain

A Journey through the Bitter History and Current Conflicts of China, Korea and Japan

Three Tigers, One Mountain

'The next Bill Bryson' (New York Times) explores international relations past and present between three East Asian countries – Japan, South Korea and China – in this lively, absorbing travelogue ‘Two tigers cannot share the same mountain’ - Chinese proverb China, Korea and Japan are the neighbours who love to hate each other. But why? Europe has forgiven Germany’s war crimes, why can’t Japan’s neighbours do likewise? To what extent do the ongoing state-level disputes about island ownership, war history, controversial shrines and statues, missile systems and military escalation reflect how the people of these countries regard each other? They have so much to gain from amicable relations, so why do they seem to be doing their level best to keep the fires of hatred burning? The Chinese, Koreans and Japanese are more than neighbours, they are siblings from a Confucian family. They share so much culturally, from this ancient philosophy with its hierarchical, bureaucratic legacy, to rice-growing, art, architecture, chopsticks, noodles and much more which has been passed down from China over millennia. In turn, China has modelled much of its recent industrial and economic strategy on Japan’s post-war manufacturing miracle, and adores contemporary Korean popular culture. Yet still East Asia festers with a mutual animosity which frequently threatens to draw the world into a twenty-first-century war. In his previous international best-seller, The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Michael Booth set out to explore the Scandinavian tribes and what they think of each other. In this new book, which blends popular anthropology, history, politics and travel, the subjects are these Asian tigers that have endured occupation, war and devastation to become among the richest, most developed and powerful societies on Earth. In this deeply researched, revealing book, he sets off on a journey by car, boat, train and plane through all three countries, ending up in a fourth, Taiwan. Here, he hopes to find a positive story but instead discovers the Taiwanese are not merely in conflict with the Chinese, but they also harbour another, less well-known but still bitter grudge towards an East Asian neighbour.

Eat Pray Eat

Eat Pray Eat

'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times World-weary, distracted and more often than not the worse for wine, Michael Booth really needed to make some major changes to his life. Instead, he embarks on an over-ambitious, self-indulgent attempt to write the definitive book on Indian food, taking his wife and two young children in tow. They criss-cross India, from mist-shrouded Delhi to Mumbai and the slums of Dharavi, meeting the locals and samplying different cuisines along the way. However, his plan is derailed as he spirals deeper into his metaphysical middle-aged malaise, finally unravelling amid the sweltering heat of the Keralan backwaters. Fortunately, his wife takes control and enrolls her disintegrating husband in a hardcore yoga boot camp, enlisting a wise meditation guru who helps him chart a path towards enlightenment. But will Booth's cynicism and untrammelled appetites prove his undoing? Can he regain his balance, conquer his anxieties and face up to life as a husband and father?

Sushi and Beyond

What the Japanese Know About Cooking

Sushi and Beyond

‘His account of their “foodie family road trip” establishes Booth as the next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times Japan is the pre-eminent food nation on earth. The creativity of the Japanese, their dedication and ingenuity, not to mention courage in the face of dishes such as cod sperm and octopus ice cream, is only now beginning to be fully appreciated in the sushi-saturated West, as are the remarkable health benefits of the traditional Japanese diet. Food and travel writer Michael Booth sets of to take the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan and he and his young family travel the length of the country - from bear-infested, beer-loving Hokkaido to snake-infested, seaweed-loving Okinawa. What do the Japanese know about food? Perhaps more than anyone else on earth, judging by this fascinating and funny journey through an extraordinary food-obsessed country. Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Kate Whiteman Award for the best book on food and travel.

The Meaning of Rice

And Other Tales from the Belly of Japan

The Meaning of Rice

**Shortlisted for the 2017 André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards** **Shortlisted for the 2018 Fortnum & Mason Food Book Award** 'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times Food and travel writer Michael Booth and his family embark on an epic journey the length of Japan to explore its dazzling food culture. They find a country much altered since their previous visit ten years earlier (which resulted in the award-winning international bestseller Sushi and Beyond). Over the last decade the country’s restaurants have won a record number of Michelin stars and its cuisine was awarded United Nations heritage status. The world’s top chefs now flock to learn more about the extraordinary dedication of Japan’s food artisans, while the country’s fast foods – ramen, sushi and yakitori – have conquered the world. As well as the plaudits, Japan is also facing enormous challenges. Ironically, as Booth discovers, the future of Japan’s culinary heritage is under threat. Often venturing far off the beaten track, the author and his family discover intriguing future food trends and meet a fascinating cast of food heroes, from a couple lavishing love on rotten fish, to a chef who literally sacrificed a limb in pursuit of the ultimate bowl of ramen, and a farmer who has dedicated his life to growing the finest rice in the world... in the shadow of Fukushima.

Just As Well I'm Leaving

To the Orient With Hans Christian Andersen

Just As Well I'm Leaving

'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times Having been dragged against his will to live in Denmark, Michael Booth discovered one of the great secrets of travel literature - Andersen's A Poet's Bazaar - a fascinating travelogue through a Europe on the cusp of revolution, by an author who invented children's literature. He discovered, too, his chance to escape Denmark. In 1840 Andersen was also desperate to flee, writing as he sailed: 'It is just as well I am leaving, my soul is unwell!' In Germany he was enraptured both by steam travel and the fiery Franz Liszt. In sultry Naples this latent bisexual wrestled with his erotic demons before travelling to Athens (little more than a village), seeing the dervishes dance in Istanbul, and sailing home up the Danube. Booth follows him every step of the way, reflecting on Andersen's life, work and pathological self-obsession, encountering his own cast of characters, from an accommodating Hamburg prostitute to a bemused Danish Ambassador to the first ever female dervish, who whisks him off to meet her guru.