Food in Fiction discussion

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Got a favorite foodie novel?

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Barbara | 5 comments Mod
It's been so long since I read it. I believe it was Margaret Atwood's first book, The Edible Woman. She wrote it at her kitchen table, too, I found out later. I loved it.

Not being a wine connoisseur, Sideways made me think about wine in a new way.




Lauren | 6 comments I just read The Maias - a fantastic 19th c. Portuguese novel with plenty of good descriptions of meals eaten. Packages of cheese pastries from a town in the country play a prominent role in the narrative.


Tiffany It is a funny coincidence that I found this group because almost all of the books that I have read recently have had a food theme. I just finished Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks and started the follow-up, The Baker's Apprentice.


Barbara | 5 comments Mod
I liked Bread Alone very much. What did your group have to say about the books?


Hanna Ahn (vancouvergirl) Foodie books are so fun! My favorite would have to be Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Comfort Me with Apples (Ruth Reichl) is a very fun and lesser known read with a good story as well as scrumptious food descriptions.


Barbara | 5 comments Mod
Oh, I loved Comfort me with Apples. Anyone read The Year of Meats?


Lauren | 6 comments I did but didn't love it. It's one of those novels chock full of ideas but not in a readable way. I think she could have used a good editor and had a better book.

I love me some Ruth Reichl though.


Lauren | 6 comments I just read The Last chinese Chef by nicole mones who also writes for Gourmet magazine. this is a good foodie novel with wonderful descriptions of meals enjoyed and the philosophies behind Chinese food, with a sweet little romance too. Good choice for people who like food in their fiction.


Tiffany I'm currently reading Julia Child: My Life in France and absolutely loving it!


Lauren | 6 comments I loved that book, tiffany. What a wonderful message - to pursue what you love and have fun doing it.


Angie | 3 comments I don't know if this is considered a foodie novel, but Diana Abu Jabar's novel Crescent is full of food mentionings. I loved it.




Lauren | 6 comments I just read a very funny book that is the antitheses of foodie novels called Cooking with Fernat Branca. The main character is a horrible cook who puts together disgusting recipes but they are hilarious to read. Overall, the book is darkly funny and a bit of a send-up of the Under The Tuscan Sun kind of novels.


message 13: by Shadi (last edited Dec 14, 2007 09:45PM) (new)

Shadi | 1 comments These aren't works of fiction but I found both of these books to be very fun reads. The first is Aphrodite by Isabel Allende and the second is Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant. And for those of you who like a little history with your foodie reads I'd recommend Salt:A World History. Loved it.


message 14: by Drew (last edited Aug 22, 2008 12:14PM) (new)

Drew (drewmelck) I find that Iris Murdoch is one of the best writers when it comes to food. You could compile wonderfully idiosyncratic, very English menus out of books such as The Sea, The Sea, A Word Child or The message to the Planet. Although she's such a deep writer, Dame Iris never forgets to tell you what everyone is eating and - more importantly - drinking!


Barbara | 5 comments Mod
What about food suspense novels?


Heather | 1 comments why a novel? i know this is all about fiction, but one of my favorite books about food is by ntozake shange called If I can Cook/ You Know God Can. just a thought . . .


geekybibliocat | 1 comments I try and keep track of the foodie books I read - here is a link to my foodie shelf.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...



Barbara | 5 comments Mod
poetry is good, too!


Daisy | 2 comments Lauren wrote: "I just read The Last chinese Chef by nicole mones who also writes for Gourmet magazine. this is a good foodie novel with wonderful descriptions of meals enjoyed and the philosophies behind Chinese ..."

I read that too. The story was predictable but the Chinese food information was really interesting.



Nancy | 2 comments I just finished Amanda Hesser's novel "Cooking for Mr Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship, with Recipes." I had fun trying some of the menus and I enjoyed the topic enormously. She's a little full of herself but that is why her type is called a 'food snob', I suppose...Take it with a spoonful of sugar!


Angie | 3 comments I just finished Trail of Crumbs Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunee. I don't consider it a "favorite", but it was a pretty good read...with LOTS of food.


Darling8 (diningdarling) | 1 comments I had a lot of fun reading "The Secret Life of Bees" and learning everything about making honey!

Everyone here has such great recommendations. I can't wait to add it to my "to read" list.


Zoe | 6 comments Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome by Patrick Faas. It's part history, part Classical literature, part archaeology, and part cook book. I absolutely loved it-- if you have any interest in Roman food, history, or culture, it's an absolute must. Also, "Woman Warrior: Memoirs of A Girlhood Among Ghosts" by Maxine Hong Kingston isn't about food specifically, but has some very powerful scenes involving food.


Zoe | 6 comments Also, Junichiro Tanizaki's short story "The Gourmet Club" (part of a larger work with the same title) is a must for food lovers. It made me think about food in an entirely different way. While I'm at it... Su Tong's "Rice" and "Raise the Red Lantern"... too many books.


Barbara | 6 comments My favorites are books by Joanne Harris, because they're full of sensations, aromas, herbs. Five Quarters of the Orange, and Blackberry Wine are my favorites. She also wrote Chocolat, but the movie spoiled that one for me.


Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) I have one in my TBR pile called The Last Chinese Chef (by Nicole Mones). Has anyone read this one? I keep hearing the food descriptions in it are awesome! I'm really looking forward to reading it.


Nancy | 2 comments Hi Beth, welcome to the discussion! I just finished The Last Chinese Chef a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed it and I think you will, too. It was more than a novel about food--it tied in the Chinese culture (I loved Sam's 'family') with a mystery and even a little romance. Scroll up through the blog and you'll find others who have read it as well. Have fun and say hi to Maggie, Sam and the First and Second Uncles for me! :)





Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) Thank you, Nancy. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Of course, I need to finish about 5 other books first...


Daisy | 2 comments Beth wrote: "I have one in my TBR pile called The Last Chinese Chef (by Nicole Mones). Has anyone read this one? I keep hearing the food descriptions in it are awesome! I'm really looking forward to reading it."
I have read this and was disappointed in the story but I liked all the food information.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto is a good food book. So are any of the Rei Shimura books by Sujata Massey. They are a sweet detective series with a lot of attention to food details.
Anything by MFK Fisher of course is delectable.
Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires is not fiction but very well-written and intereresting and includes some good recipes.


Isvett | 1 comments Took the words right out of my mouth! I recently read Garlic and Saphires and Tender at the Bone. While they are not fiction, I HIGHLY recommend them. Ruth is such a great writer. I can almost taste the dishes she writes about.


message 31: by Garfield (last edited Mar 11, 2009 09:24AM) (new)

Garfield | 6 comments I think I died and went to heaven. LOL.
A group for reading foodies. Doesn't get any better then this. I've started reading Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee. Lucious recipes abound. A bit of a sad story in many ways so far, but a tasty delight in many ways. I will have to comb my shelves now to unearth other foodie books. Though looks like this group has already covered most everything I've read and have on my shelves and then some. But I am sure I'll find some delicious new reads here as well. Love Ruth Reichl. And unless I am mistaken the last Chinese Chef is one I own and read a while back. Was kind of a strange story if I remember it right.
Another set of books that involve lots of foods and tastes are the Frances Mayes books, set in Tuscany. Also Peter Mayle, set in Provence. And another series, can't come up with the author's name at the moment, but the first one of hers I read was "1000 days in Venice". Oh, the list goes on and on, doesn't it. I feel so good knowing I am not the only foodie book addict. LOL


Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) I just bought Trail of Crumbs and I'm looking forward to reading it!


Garfield | 6 comments Beth wrote: "I just bought Trail of Crumbs and I'm looking forward to reading it!"

I am enjoying it so far. Some yummy food in it.



Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) That's good to hear! Thanks.


message 35: by Garfield (last edited Mar 12, 2009 12:34PM) (new)

Garfield | 6 comments Ok, I double checked some of my shelves and came up with a few more. First though, the author I couldn't think of in my previous post is Marlena de Blasis.
Now a few more titles. "Insatiable"~Gael Greene. It does delve into her insatiable sex life as well, so if that sort of thing bothers you, be aware.
"Cooking for Mr. Latte"~Amanda Hesser. Light reading, but food filled. "Scarlet Feather"~Maeve Binchy. Also her previous book "Tara Road" had lots of foodie moments in it. And if you like that cozy, feel good type of novel, most of Rosamunde Pilcher's books are tasty as her characters are always cooking up something or another. And last, but not least, light reading, but fun are Diana Mott Davidson'a detective stories featuring Goldie the Caterer.
Now I am sure most of you have read these titles, but thought I would post them anyhow. I know I saw several titles mentioned that are missing in my library in the posts I skimmed.
Looking forward to hearing from some of the members here. And hi again, Beth. Nice to hear from you again. Enjoy your new book. Now off to read.......


Garfield | 6 comments Barbara wrote: "My favorites are books by Joanne Harris, because they're full of sensations, aromas, herbs. Five Quarters of the Orange, and Blackberry Wine are my favorites. She also wrote Chocolat, but the mov..."

Just remembering those books made my mouth water. Was just perusing them on my shelves, looking for a few more yummy books.
Evi


Garfield | 6 comments Nancy wrote: "I just finished Amanda Hesser's novel "Cooking for Mr Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship, with Recipes." I had fun trying some of the menus and I enjoyed the topic enormously. She's a little full of..."

Guess I should have read the previous post a little more carefully. I just added this one to foodie books on my last post. Oh well. LOL



Garfield | 6 comments Saw a comment by Barbara quite a while back, saying Poetry is good too. How about combining the two?
Your comment, Barbara, reminded me of a little volume of Poems I have. Called "Poems from the Table~The Fruits of the Earth in verse" edited by Robert Yagley. Bought it years ago from the Bargain Table at the Bookstore I worked in. I will keep it handy and reread it, now that my memory's been jogged.


Julie | 5 comments Anything by Laurie Colwin is a treat, she was amusing and didn't like fancy recipes, she preferred simple fare cooked at home.


Laurel (laureljean) | 30 comments I just finished Patricia Hampl's The Florist's Daughter. It wasn't fiction nor was it about food, but in one of the final chapters she describes the Lilac Nostalgia Cake from The Cake Bible so beautifully that I wanted to run right out and buy a copy of the cookbook! I was horrified to see that I didn't have one on my shelves.


Julie | 5 comments Barbara wrote: "poetry is good, too!" I liked your idea about a "foodie shelf" so I made one too. Here is mine: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/... We've read some of the same books, I really enjoyed the non-foodie book "Eat, Pray, Love" too, I just finished that one last week.




Laurel (laureljean) | 30 comments Julie wrote: "Barbara wrote: "poetry is good, too!" I liked your idea about a "foodie shelf" so I made one too. Here is mine: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/... We've read some of..."

I love the Donna Leon mysteries, which reminds me that I need to request another from the library!


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

These are non-fiction, but I'd recommend:
The Sharper your Knife, the Less you Cry by Kathleen Flinn (a memoir about studying at the Cordon Bleu in Paris)
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee (you will be craving Chinese food after reading this).

I just picked up Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant at the library and I can't wait to start it.




Julie | 5 comments The Florist's daughter, did you like it? I liked your post about being horrified you didn't have The Cake Bible and wanting to run out and get, it is fun to hear other people getting excited about books.

Fatal Remedies by Donna Leon is my favorite so far, we enjoy the interaction between Brunetti and his wife Paola and this book has a fair amount. I tried reading a couple of mystery books set in Paris by Cara Black, after all Cara lives in S.F., however I'm fussy and prefer Donna Leon's style and quality of writing.

Still slogging through Trail of Crumbs, it is readable and with lots of recipes that I know I will never make, some of the ingredients I don't even know what they are! The author, at least at the time she wrote the book, was so immature and hung up on the past and unknowns, it is quite painful to read most of the time.






Laurel (laureljean) | 30 comments I did like The Florist's Daughter; I wish I could use words like she does. At first I thought the book was lovely and nostalgic, that it would be a light read of growing up in a "simpler" time but, as always, family dynamics surface and nothing is as simple as it first seems. There's actually a lot there to think about, particularly if you happen to be in a similar stage of life and caring for elderly parents.

There's a little food action in the Leon books, isn't there? I like to read what the Brunetti's are sharing in their kitchen. I'm always the voyeur, I guess!




Laurel (laureljean) | 30 comments Am I the only person who didn't know a yearly complilation of food essays exists, edited by Holly Hughes? A coworker found Best Food Writing 2004 in a giveaway pile outside a professor's door and picked it up for me.


Laurel (laureljean) | 30 comments I'm thoroughly enjoying Knopf's Poem-A-Day. Thanks for making me aware of it. It's wonderful to have beautiful words delivered to me every day...much nicer than the emails for Viagra and cheap meds.


Laurel (laureljean) | 30 comments Our A&E section of the paper today had short reviews of four recent food memoirs/novels; only one (I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci) made the grade. The others were How To Cook A Dragon by Linda Furiya, Entertaining Disasters by Nancy Spiller, and The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.


Julie | 5 comments Barbara wrote: "It's been so long since I read it. I believe it was Margaret Atwood's first book, The Edible Woman. She wrote it at her kitchen table, too, I found out later. I loved it.

Not being a wine co..."


Laurel wrote: "Our A&E section of the paper today had short reviews of four recent food memoirs/novels; only one (I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci) made the grade. The others were How To Cook ..."

Sounds good, I'll put it on my to read list. I'm glad you are enjoying the poetry, I try to tell everyone I can about that site. Have you ever looked at DailyLit.com? They will send you little installments on email of a book on a schedule you set up. Many of the books are free, some newer ones have a small price. At Christmas time I asked them to send me small installments of A Christmas Story by Dickens every week day, took about ten minutes to read with my morning tea. They also have a Group Read sort of thing, this month they are reading Thoreau's Walden. Check it out. I prefer a real book in my hands, however this isn't a bad option for trying to sneak in a little reading every day if time is limited.



Amanda (sweetmandykay) | 2 comments I am a great fan of Jennifer Crusie and although her books are romance, I find that a couple of her books have food as part of the story. My favorite is Bet Me, where the main character learns how to make chicken marsala. It doesn't actually have the recipe in the book, but you can understand the process from reading it. If you would actually like to have the recipe, Jennifer Crusie has it posed on her web-site. Anyway, this book made me crave chicken marsala the whole time I was reading it! Jennifer Crusie also wrote Agnes and the Hitman, who makes pecan pancakes. I had to look up the pancake recipe, but I still enjoyed eatting pancakes while reading the book. Created a nice reading environment for me and I really enjoyed those pancakes! :D


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Books mentioned in this topic

Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home (other topics)
HANDLE TiME (other topics)
The Girl Who Chased the Moon (other topics)
Cooking with Fernet Branca (other topics)
Gone Bamboo (other topics)
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LiNCOLN PARK (other topics)