This site contains critical opinions about two of my favourite things: writing and food. For information about my medical practice and opinions about health care, please see my original website Sunshiners.ca.
Book reviews are listed alphabetically by author or title. Click on the appropriate words on the black stripe below my charming photograph. Culinary or restaurant reviews likewise are available alphabetically by clicking on “Culinary reviews” on that black stripe.
In June 2019, to try to work on a fourth book project, I’ve temporarily switched to short-snapper-type posts: a paragraph or two and a numerical rating. Unless I run across something really good, or really bad.
FOR BOOK REVIEWS: “F” denotes fiction, “NF” nonfiction. Date is date I finished reading the book. Number is my subjective score out of 10. Two scores separated by slash are content/style. I try to add “PLOT ALERT” before giving away an important twist in the story. If you haven’t read the book you shouldn’t read the material that follows up to “END PLOT ALERT”. Quotes are in italics.
FOR CULINARY REVIEWS: Where there is a single number it’s my overall impression of quality and value, taking cost into account, out of 10. Where there are four numbers they mean food/service/ambience/overall value, all out of 10. Ambience is the whole subjective gestalt: how does it make us feel?
In January 2017 I added belatedly the category “peace and quiet”, to reflect my impatience with the tendency of new restaurants to feature loud music, clatter, and shrieking.
I have attempted using asterisks to provide my recommendations, ironically a la Michelin.
* Good, worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood
** Very good, put it on the list of places to eat.
*** Something special, go to some trouble to to give it a try.
+ Good value for the money.
? Mixed bag. Good features but beware, some offsetting bad ones.
$ Bad value; too expensive for what you get.
# PAN. Bad scene; steer clear.