Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is Katherine Ashenburg reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History.

Two books mentioned in her entry:
a guide to Stockholm, where I am going for Easter weekend, and a new Spanish mystery, given to me by my publishers [in London], Profile. It's called Tattoo, by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, and will be published this year. The detective, based in Barcelona, has a taste for good food, and Amsterdam, two favourites of mine. [read on]
Katherine Ashenburg is the prize-winning author of three non-fiction books and hundreds of articles on subjects that range from travel to mourning customs to architecture.

From the New York Times Style Magazine, on The Dirt on Clean:
"Utterly engaging as guided tours of human history as seen through the lens of a single idea ... Ashenburg, for her part, operates within a more literary frame of reference, mining 'The Romance of Flamenca,' Madame de Sevigne's letters, Thackeray's novels and others over the course of a lively account in which we learn that: Napoleon spent two hours in a steaming bathtub every morning while an assistant read him newspapers and telegrams; Louis XIV had halitosis; Caucasians possess merocrine sweat glands 'in profusion,' while Asians have few or none; and Kotex were first manufactured by a Wisconsin company during World War I as absorbent bandages for Army hospitals in France."
Read more about The Dirt on Clean, and visit Katherine Ashenburg's website.

Writers Read: Katherine Ashenburg.

--Marshal Zeringue