Linda's Reviews > The Cookbook Collector

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
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's review
May 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ridge-street-book-club, sister-books
Read from October 20, 2010 to May 23, 2011

I enjoyed “The Cookbook Collector” but it was a bit too convoluted for me to keep all the subplots separate and meaningful from saving the trees to missing family history to ideas and implementations for new start up companies. The refrain that this story of two sisters who was like Jane Austin’s works was a stretch for me. You could find that similarity in many books that add a bit of romance with the life stories of two sisters living very different lives but tied together by the love for one another. There did not seem to be a stronger connection than this. Jess is the sister with a lighthearted nature, and a loving and free spirit while her sister Emily, is more pragmatic and a hard driving entrepreneur forming and developing her own company and paying the personal price required in the dot com era of startups .

The story tells of environmentalism, innovation, personal drive, love, loyalty, betrayal and family history all rolled into a story that is enjoyable, but a bit convoluted in its length and complicated story lines. I found the character of the first sister Jess and the discovery and her involvement and investigation in the world of tree huggers, and then old books, especially the cook book collection, to be very interesting. However, the idea of finding her mother’s unknown religiously connected family, especially the Hasidic Rabbis, was too much of a stretch. The rise and the fall of the dot coms rang true, and having been closely connected to some of these Silicon Valley companies and their successes and failures I know that the roller coaster rides the individuals took was a hard reality for many. This book was chosen as a book club selection, and that is why I read it. I am glad I did as I am sure any discussion of the book would be lively and interesting.
I would give this book 3.5 stars.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Linda This story tells of the strange world of dot-com start-ups and book collectors is a bit of a strange mix. The stories of the characters are compelling. I am looking forward to finding out what happens to the cookbook collectors, to the tree huggers and to those betting on the riches of instant wealth of the start-ups.

Yvonne Interested in knowing what you think of this book. I have not talked to anyone who has read it and will be interested in your opinion

Linda I will post a review. We discuss it at book club on this week. Hope all is well with you.

Yvonne I'm great and enjoying this site. Happy Reading!

message 5: by Kitty_w (new)

Kitty_w "a bit too convoluted for me to keep all the subplots separate and meaningful.." My thoughts exactly. And, they simply weren't interesting enough to follow. I kept trying, but finally half way through the book, I gave up.

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