Today’s book is an older title, but new to us. And it’s one of my favorites!
I first heard about this book when the author, Jennifer 8. Lee, was on The Colbert Report and I was fascinated. She started research after she heard about a Powerball drawing that set off alarms because so many people had won. There’s some higher math that says only x number of people should win on any given drawing. If more than that win, there’s probably some fraud. But the people who won lived all over the country and had no connection to one another. The only thing they had in common was that they had all played numbers from the back of their fortune from a fortune cookie.
Lee decided to research the history of the fortune cookie, which led to Chinese take-out, fast-food delivery, Jewish Christmas at Chinese restaurants, Chinatown buses, and an American colonel known for chicken, not war and a Chinese general known, in China, for war not chicken. If you like Chinese food, this book is a fantastic history of how it came to be a niche in America (and around the world).
Oh, and there’s a TED Talk!