Best book title ever

Written By: sherridaley - • •


It is awful that we judge books by their covers — and by their titles — but I have been told by people who know things that the title and cover are essential elements when trying to sell a book.  That’s why I knew I had been cleverly duped when I checked out a book called THE TELLING ROOM: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti.

I was, however, happily duped. I was particularly fond of the sheep on the cover, and about 20 pages in, I liked the writing so much that I looked at the back flap to see if he was handsome and single.  Yes, handsome. Not single. He has an admirable writing career, including another book you should read. He is the author of DRIVING MR. ALBERT: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain. He’s got a thing for long, seductive titles with a colon. And he did, in fact, drive across the country with a hunk of Einstein’s grey matter.  Yuck.

Both books are non-fiction, sharing a personal experience that you wish you had shared with him.  His wife must be pissed sometimes, especially when she read his description of the Spanish countryside he visited while researching THE TELLING ROOM. The fields of aching sunflowers, the stretches of empty road, the hauntingly mysterious caves where cheese is aged and men tell their stories. It truly is a story of love and betrayal and revenge, but mostly it is a book which touches all five of the reader’s senses, especially cheese and wine.  I suggest you pour yourself a decent glass of red and cut up some real cheese from a cheese shop (not anything from Stop&Shop!) before you sit down to read.

The characters are richly drawn, and, too, the reader is drawn– into man-hugs and curious tales of familial love, history, friendship, and pain. It’s not a book to be read in a hurry.  You have to taste it.  Like tasting a fine wine or cheese, you need to roll it around on your tongue for a while before swallowing.

And it made me want to go to the tiny village of Guzman and find Ambrosio, the man whose heart was filled and emptied and hardened and healed. But if Paterniti’s description of the countryside surrounding the village is correct, I probably couldn’t find it.


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