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August 2023

Five New Recipes.

We completed five new recipes this month: garlic beer, mackerel, tuna, siqqu (fish sauce), and kebabu (meat skewers). We still have about 20 recipes left before we're completely done. What was initially around 30 recipes is soon reaching 60. The new recipes will make the book even more interesting. The next step, once we're done with the recipes, is to find testers. If you're interested in testing any of the recipes, just reply to this email.

90,000 Views on YouTube

Our YouTube channel is gaining momentum. The idea behind the channel is the same as with the book: to make Mesopotamian history interesting and accessible to everyone. Our latest video, Enuma Elish, currently has 24,000 views. The second most popular video is The Epic of Gilgamesh, which currently has 13,000 views. We are in the final stages of editing our longest video yet, a documentary about the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. Subscribe to the channel so you don't miss its release.

Offers from Printers

As we're nearing the completion of the book, I've been in contact with printers. Table of Gods will be a large coffee table book printed on exclusive paper. The illustrated cover will be embossed, and the text "Table of Gods" will be copper foiled. But there's a catch-22. The printers need to know how many copies I want to print to give a quote. And for me to know how many books to print, I need to know how many will buy the book. But for people to decide if they want to buy the book, they need to know the price. And to know the price, I must tell the printer how many I'll print. And so on.

Books I Read

I am Ashurbanipal by Gareth Brereton. This massive book of around 350 pages was both entertaining and informative. I read the book to write the documentary about Ashurbanipal that we're currently editing. But I also learned a lot about the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. A heartbreaking story about a brother and sister separated in childhood. Without revealing the ending, I was left with an unsatisfying feeling, which might be what makes the book so good.

Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach by Paul Gulino. This book was written by my teacher when I studied screenwriting. It's a technical book that breaks down classic films into sequences, where Gulino explains what happens in each sequence.

Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias. Also one of my teachers during my screenwriting studies. This is probably my favorite book in the category. Although it's primarily for screenwriters, it's useful for storytellers in all fields.

Made in America by Sam Walton. This is an autobiography of the man behind Walmart. I've had the book on my shelf for over ten years but only read it now. Walton built a corporate empire like few before him while being a present family man. The latter being his greatest achievement, in my opinion.

All Our Broken Idols by Paul Cooper. The first fictional book I'm reading that is set partly in the Neo-Assyrian Empire. A novel that shifts between the present and the past, where we follow two female main characters and their lives, in Nineveh and Mosul. I wish there were more books like this!

Goals for the Rest of the Year

There are 18 weeks left in the year as of writing. I've allocated most of the weeks to recipe creation and the manuscript. A few weeks will also go to YouTube. If we meet all the deadlines as we have in the past months, the book will be more or less done by the end of the year. Next year will mainly be about getting the book out. It needs to be printed somewhere, stored, distributed, shipped, and so on. Something I have no experience with, but looking forward to tackling!

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