Book of the Month: You selected A Gambler's Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem as your Book of the Month. The main character, Bruno Alexander, is a professional gambler who travels the world winning money from wealthy VIPs, but experiences a downturn in his luck. You write, 'œI'm...fascinated and gratified by stories of big falls into gloriously wrenching failure and defeat.' What about this intrigues you?

Anthony Bourdain: Probably familiarity. I have some highs and lows in my life. Also fear.

Are you a gambler? What's your preference in the casino?
I am not a gambler. I understand the rush, but I get no thrill personally from either losing OR winning from "the house". If I play poker, I like it to be personal.

What about in real life? What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?

Probably quitting my job in the kitchen for the very precarious business of writing and making television

What would you tell to people, like Bruno Alexander, who are down on their luck?

Cocaine won't help.

You have 'œan appreciation for doing things the right way.' We want to know what you think - who is the person who does things the right way in each of the following areas:

a) Food Eric Ripert
b) Politics cant think of anyone I admire wholeheartedly
c) Media I like Robert Rodriguez's EL REY channel
d) Publishing Dan Halpern at ECCO (my publisher)
e) Music as an artist, Josh Homme, also Jack White's THIRD MAN RECORDS is a company I admire

You're Book of the Month's Guest Judge for November. What's on your Thanksgiving menu?

Turkey! Of course! To do otherwise would be unpatriotic!

We often feature 'œfood & book pairings,' where we recommend food and drinks that go well with a particular book. Is there a food pairing that comes to mind for A Gambler's Anatomy?

No. you'll get grease on the pages.

You've said, 'œIf you can get a little smarter about the world every day, it's a win.' What's the last thing you got smarter about?

Maybe, about feeding a little girl. Child rearing. It's an ongoing education.

Also, my jiu Jitsu. My half guard is improving.