What looks very much like a sly smile…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

A great way to improve your writing is to emulate the work of others. That’s why, every week, I present a sentence that I’d happily imitate. I comment today on one written by Michael Pollan.

Thanks to the urging of my email buddy, Bob, I am now reading the book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan. Although I’m almost as interested in food as I am in writing, I’d never before read anything written by Pollan, although I’d certainly heard of his famous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In radio interviews, he always struck me as a thoughtful, interesting guy.

Within the first 50 pages, I’d already dog-eared his book to show sentences I wanted to savour. Here, so far, is my favourite, in which Pollan recounts his visit to a true Southern barbeque in Ayden, North Carolina:

Each [pig] the size of a grown man, hairless and pink, its mouth set in what looks very much like a sly smile, the half dozen pigs laid out in this smoky crypt made me think of many things, but definitely not lunch or dinner. 

But I’m only on page 57 now — with 359 more pages to go. I’m sure I’ll have many more “favourites” before I’m done.