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General > Your Favorite Food Book

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message 1: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Perrino | 60 comments Mod
There are plenty of novels where food plays a central role in the story. like Chocolat, One-Hundred Foot Journey, Gourmet Rhapsody, and many more. What's your favorite novel that involves food or cooking?

PS: cookbooks don't count!


message 2: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Probably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Perrino | 60 comments Mod
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a phenomenal choice!! I may have to agree with you on that one. Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors.


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol I love the book series by Lucy Burdette about The
Key West Food Critic and also Avery Aames' Cheese Shop
Mysteries. I always come away hungry after reading these books and try to make some of the foods or try brands of cheese mentioned in them.


message 5: by Kara (new)

Kara (kararota) | 30 comments Mod
Nora Ephron's Heartburn was probably the book that made me fall in love with food writing.


message 6: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments I asked lots of friends this question and keep hearing people mention Like Water for Chocolate so I think I have to read that and see if it will become one of my faves, too. Who here has read it and what do you think?


message 7: by Craftnut (new)

Craftnut The School of Essential Ingredients - wonderful about people trying to find an outlet for their emotions, both good and tragic.

Love Diane Mott Davidsons culinary mysteries too, K. Every time she starts cooking, I want to get up and cook too.

The Cookbook Collector will make you think, it is a story that builds slowly. The cookbooks and the way they are archived is a metaphor for the life of the girl that assists the book buyer. So much he wants, and she can't see it for a long time.

If you like cozy mysteries, there are whole pages at SYKM devoted to foodie mystery series, just pick your arena - bakery, coffehouse, chocolate shop, donut shop, cheese shop, caterer, tea house, breakfast diner, winery, restaurant chef all the way to the fry cook that can see a ghost dog and communicate with the dead.

I adore food writing, both fiction and non-fiction.


message 8: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments Craftnut wrote: "The School of Essential Ingredients - wonderful about people trying to find an outlet for their emotions, both good and tragic.

Love Diane Mott Davidsons culinary mysteries too, K. Every time she..."

What great suggestions. The Cookbook Collector sounds particularly wonderful -- what a great metaphor.


message 9: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lafrance (llafrance) | 1 comments I love Joanne Fluke. I feel part of the neighborhood and she has more recipes than just desserts.


message 10: by Cathy (last edited May 05, 2014 12:47PM) (new)

Cathy The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
made me want to take cooking lessons.


message 11: by Craftnut (new)

Craftnut Thanks, Will, yes you need to add those to your TBR. I haven't read Like Water for Chocolate, but I did see the movie years ago. Looking at the synopsis, the book is probably much better! I'll add that to my list of things to read.

I have at least a half dozen Joanne Fluke mysteries on my TBR too.


message 12: by Beth (new)

Beth I will date myself but I first got turned on to this subject by watching Martha Stewart's early shows. I think her first tv special was for Thanksgiving and my mom and I watched in awe. I have some of her early books. Then my husband (years later) bought me the book The Cook and The Gardener by Amanda Hesser after hearing her interviewed on the radio. That was the catalyst. This subject has segued into farming and sustainability. I love memoirs of folks who get off the grid as much as they can. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver was heaven to me.


message 13: by Beth (new)

Beth Will wrote: "I asked lots of friends this question and keep hearing people mention Like Water for Chocolate so I think I have to read that and see if it will become one of my faves, too. Who here ha..."

I read this in 2008 and loved it.


message 14: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 7 comments Anything by Barbara Samuel O'Neal. She Writes about food in a way that makes you want to reach into the pages and eat it. One of her most recent books was the All You Can Dream Buffet. It was just beautiful I highly recommend it.


message 15: by Kara (new)

Kara (kararota) | 30 comments Mod
The Book of Salt is a great one too!


message 16: by Pirawadee (new)

Pirawadee Chuprawat | 1 comments The one that inspire me since being a little girl is a set of "Little House in Prairie". I always smell a bacon with hickory burnt when read. :)


message 17: by K M (new)

K M The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry was pretty good. The main character discovers that she is able to summon the ghosts of deceased loved ones when she cooks using their recipes.


message 18: by Diana S (last edited May 15, 2014 01:54AM) (new)

Diana S There are quite a few:
Pomegranate Soup
You can almost smell the spices. Hmmmm......
The Book of Unholy Mischief
Ahhh.... the scenes in the kitchen .... Marvelous!
Baking Cakes in Kigali
The healing that Angel brings with her cakes to your customers after the horrible events their experienced was so noble.
Babette's Feast & Other Anecdotes of Destiny
Saved me a place at that table :) Loved the book and movie!
The Christmas Cookie Club
The idea of the cookie club was inspiring to have my own.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Calling out to your loved ones with cake. Enjoyable!
Like Water for Chocolate
The food, the way of cooking, emotions revealed in the food is something I could really relate too. I love magical realism!
And last but not least:
Little House in the Big Woods
This book always reminds me of my grandmother. The way the author describes harvesting the vegetables, salting the fish, the maple syrup, even the roasted piggy tail and pig's stomach as a toy. These are all things my great-grandmother did and my grandmother and her sisters helped.
My daughter and I had wonderful times discussing and reading the book with her. Lovely Memories! :D

Right now I'm hooked on all those Hannah Swensen books like Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Blackberry Pie Murder Cherry Cheesecake Murder etc....
They make me laugh and I'm getting a lot of cookie recipes that I use for my nieces and nephews. I've even got my mother reading these books. :D


message 19: by Will (last edited May 15, 2014 07:29AM) (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments I'd forgotten all about the food in Little House in the Big Woods. I guess as a kid (when I read it), I was focused on other things. Now I want to go back and re-read. Love all the suggestions that have been pouring in. Making me VERY hungry.


message 20: by Gaby (new)

Gaby Schneider | 1 comments It's not a novel, but Ruth Reichl's memoir Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table is great. Her mother, especially, is "quite a character," and you can see how she inspired her daughter to NOT be like her (at least in the kitchen!)


message 21: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments Gaby wrote: "It's not a novel, but Ruth Reichl's memoir Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table is great. Her mother, especially, is "quite a character," and you can see how she inspired her da..."

I agree. The Reichl is tremendous on the subject of mothers and daughters, and on food.


message 22: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments Has anyone read Delicious by Ruch Reichl yet? I'm very curious to hear how she describes food in it, and what food she describes. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl


message 23: by Chris (last edited May 16, 2014 05:37AM) (new)

Chris Will wrote: "Has anyone read Delicious by Ruch Reichl yet? I'm very curious to hear how she describes food in it, and what food she describes. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl"

Will, I finished it last weekend, and LOVED it! Because it's Ruth, I forgave her for some missteps and general corniness (the ugly duckling turns into the swan; I don't believe a 12-year-old would write like that), and just enjoyed the ride. Don't read the NYTs review, Garner skewered her, kindly. I'm glad I read it after I finished! And yes, she describes food (and lots of it!) in her trademark way!


message 24: by Victoria (last edited May 17, 2014 07:38PM) (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes-Elizabeth Bard
With a first line of "I slept with my French husband halfway through our first date.", you can see why readers are sucked into this delicious story of an American finding her way in Paris. But, it was not until the description of shopping for vegetables in the market that had me drooling and wishing I could live Elizabeth Bard's life.
This well-written account of marrying a French man and setting into a Parisian life is stomach-grumbling good. I read it in one long, enjoyable sitting, like a good French meal.

You will love this book and walk away hungry for more.

Victoria Allman
author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain


message 25: by Victoria (last edited May 17, 2014 07:38PM) (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Crescent-Diana Abu Jaber
Rarely does a book come along where you know by page 2 that this will be one of the best books you have ever read. Diana Abu Jaber's Crescent is that book.
It is a sensual exploration of food, love and living in exile that jumps from the page and grabs your heart.
Jaber writes "Chef's know-nothing lasts" "In the mouth and then gone." That sad fact is how I feel about Crescent. It was over too quick, but unlike the memory of that perfect taste that is near impossible to replicate, I will re-read Crescent to recapture the feeling of the perfect novel.

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey With Her Captain


message 26: by K M (new)

K M Crescent sounds good - I've added it to my "to read" shelf. And your book sounds like great fun, Victoria. I've added it, too!


message 27: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments Crescent sounds like a wonderful book! I'm really excited to add it to my to-read list. I'm curious if there are certain foods or dishes that are important in the novel. Anything you recall?


message 28: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments And, yes, I've also added your book, Victoria. Looks really fun and unusual!


message 29: by Victoria (last edited May 18, 2014 07:21AM) (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Diana Abu-Jaber is as wonderful cook as she is a writer. Her Jordanian roots spice the pages of Crescent Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber with Middle-Eastern cuisine that made me run out and buy sumac, tahini, and zaatar right away to start cooking the dishes she mentions in the book.
Beware...reading this novel will make you hungry ;-)

Thanks Will and KM for the add. I hope you enjoy SEAsoned, my culinary travel book set on a yacht as much as I enjoyed living it!

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain


message 30: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments Maybe as this group grows we can have threads related to different cuisines. This book sounds so marvelous. Anyone else know other novels where Middle-Eastern cuisine figures heavily?


message 31: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Will, you are being modest with your contributions to the food world...

Will Schwalbe Goodreads Author
websitehttp://www.theendofyourlifebookclub.com
twitter usernameWillSch
genre Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Cooking, Food & Wine

About this author:
Will is the author of The End of Your Life Book Club (Knopf 2012, Two Roads/UK 2012).

He is also the founder and CEO of cookstr.com, a recipe site featuring great recipes from many of the world's best chefs and cookbook authors.

I use Cookstr.com ALL the time to find recipes to cook for the crew on the yacht! Thank you so much for creating the site and making my job so much easier!
Great to connect with you here.
Victoria

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain


message 32: by Will (new)

Will Schwalbe | 11 comments And great to connect with you! I love food and I love books so it's such a treat to talk about food IN books and meat other people who share these obsessions.


message 33: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments I also loved Pomegranate Soup for it's descriptions of Middle-Eastern foods.

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain


message 34: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Kara wrote: "The Book of Salt is a great one too!"

This, too, was one of my favorites! Monique Truong's next book Bitter in the Mouth is on my TBR next list. I was fortunate enough to hear her speak in Key West a few years ago and I quickly became a fan!

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain


message 35: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Will wrote: "Maybe as this group grows we can have threads related to different cuisines. This book sounds so marvelous. Anyone else know other novels where Middle-Eastern cuisine figures heavily?"

Another favorite was Pomegranate Soup for it's Middle-Eastern flavors!

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain


message 36: by Neil (new)

Neil Plakcy (neilplakcy) | 2 comments I’m a big fan of food in mystery. My recent reads:
You Cannoli Die Once” by Shelley Costa, which was a funny, charming book set in an Italian restaurant in Bucks County, PA
By Its Cover" by Donna Leon – a police investigator in Venice whose wife cooks incredible meals
Dos Equis" by Anthony Bidulka – all the books about this Saskatchewan-based private eye have foods in the titles, and food figures prominently
Aunty Lee's Delights:” by Ovidia Yu – another charmer, about a restaurant owner in Singapore who can’t resist getting involved in customers’ troubles.
My own Golden Retriever Mysteries include a supporting character who runs a chocolate shop so I get to mention some tantalizing food in them, too.
Neil S. Plakcy


message 37: by Meg (new)

Meg (mkop359) | 2 comments I've always enjoyed the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques. Every book they have at least one feast with the various menu items described in such tasty detail. I always find I need a snack and wondering what the different dishes would taste like.


message 38: by Neil (new)

Neil Plakcy (neilplakcy) | 2 comments Oh, yes, those Redwall Abbey feasts! I loved to read those.


message 39: by Kara (new)

Kara (kararota) | 30 comments Mod
Anthony Bourdain's Bone in the Throat was a delicious guilty-pleasure read for me, too. I devoured it on a long train ride. Can never look at a deli slicer the same way again :\


message 40: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Allman | 10 comments Kara wrote: "Anthony Bourdain's Bone in the Throat was a delicious guilty-pleasure read for me, too. I devoured it on a long train ride. Can never look at a deli slicer the same way ..."

Thanks for the reminder, Kara! I have this book on my TBR pile and love his non-fiction...I'm going to move Bone In The Throat up to the top of the pile for this weekend!


message 41: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Haddon | 10 comments I love Julia Childs, "The Art of French Cooking" so the book "Julie and Julia" is one of my favorites. I admit I have seen. the movie too.


message 42: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Haddon | 10 comments "Bone in the Throat" sounds pretty interesting.


message 43: by Chris (new)

Chris Victoria wrote: "Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes-Elizabeth Bard
With a first line of "I slept with my French husband halfway through our first date.", you can see why readers are sucked in..."


I loved this book!


message 44: by Chris (new)

Chris While I don't read a lot of novels that revolve around food (although I do like Diane Mott Davidson's mysteries for a guilty pleasure), I do read a lot of food memoirs. Some favorite authors include Laurie Colwin, Judith Jones, Ruth Reichl, and Julia Child. One I loved that not a lot of people know about is "Confections of a Closet Baker" by Gesine Bullock-Prado. I absolutely adored this book, but when the paperback came out, it had a different title.(?) And yes, Gesine is Sandra Bullock's sister! "My Berlin Kitchen" by Luisa Weiss is another terrific read.


message 45: by Bas (last edited May 22, 2014 05:28PM) (new)

Bas | 8 comments Definitely for me that book would be Like Water for Chocolate. I also liked The School of Essential Ingredients. And I would have to add a sentimental favorite, the Little House on the Prairie series because when my daughters were little, they would always play that they were Laura and Mary, and I was Ma...our dinner would always be bear meat stew, with the meat provided by Pa and his amazing hunting ability!


message 46: by Bas (new)

Bas | 8 comments Will wrote: "I asked lots of friends this question and keep hearing people mention Like Water for Chocolate so I think I have to read that and see if it will become one of my faves, too. Who here ha..."

Do yourself a favor and read the book. It's wonderful...magical, mystical, bittersweet...I think you'll fall in love with it. I know I did.


message 47: by Bas (new)

Bas | 8 comments Victoria wrote: "Will wrote: "Maybe as this group grows we can have threads related to different cuisines. This book sounds so marvelous. Anyone else know other novels where Middle-Eastern cuisine figures heavily?"..."

How about Indian cuisine? Tarquin Hall has a series of books (mysteries) set in India. I read this one: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken and liked it a lot.


message 48: by Sue (new)

Sue | 2 comments I just found this group which combines my two favorite obsessions - food and reading!

I have two favorite food books.

The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones (the author of Lost in Translation) is a beautiful, lush novel about an American journalist who travels to China to write a story about a chef who is competing in a modern day cooking competition. He comes from a long line of chefs and the book explores every aspect of the history of authentic Chinese cooking with a particular focus on the traditions of cooking in the Forbidden City. It is a wonderful read, and when you're finished, you won't look at Chinese food the same way.

The second book is one I re-visit often as it is a 'book of days.' It is Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days, by James Salter, one of my favorite authors. He wrote it with his wife, who also loves food and entertaining and on each day of the year is a gloriously written, bite-sized meditation, reflection, remembrance, historical account or just a menu - each one perfect to savor for a few minutes with a glass of wine or a cup of tea.


message 49: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Marro | 2 comments Neil wrote: "I’m a big fan of food in mystery. My recent reads:
You Cannoli Die Once” by Shelley Costa, which was a funny, charming book set in an Italian restaurant in Bucks County, PA
“[book..."


Me too! And every Donna Leon book is one feast after another, all lovingly described.


message 50: by Elizabeth (last edited May 25, 2014 05:19PM) (new)

Elizabeth Marro | 2 comments Matthew wrote: "There are plenty of novels where food plays a central role in the story. like Chocolat, One-Hundred Foot Journey, Gourmet Rhapsody, and many more. What's your favorite novel that involves food or c..."

All of Donna Leon's books, Like Water for Chocolate, and most recently The Abundance by Amit Majmudar: ,https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


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