I know that National Book Lovers Day took place yesterday August 9, but I had a review that I just had to post on that day so I was unable to write about this. Plus it was also an unofficial holiday for all us book-worms and this would’ve meant taking time out from my latest read to sit down and put a piece together. How could I possibly do that?
Apart from reading I also love to cook, in fact it’s another passion of mine that very few people know about. So I tend to get a little excited when I come across something that hits both of these loves in one shot. I’m talking about food centred fiction, and if that fiction contains recipes, be still my beating heart!
In celebration of National Book Lovers Day, although belatedly, I’d like to share with you my top ten reads, not in any order of preference, for lovers of the printed word AND food:
Friendship Bread ~ Darien Gee; About life and loss, friendship and community, food and family, this book tells the uplifting story of what endures when even the unthinkable happens.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café ~Fannie Flagg; As an elderly woman relays her dynamic life story to a friend in the throes of a midlife crisis, readers get to know the townsfolk of Whistle Stop, Alabama, and their many mysteries.
Like Water for Chocolate ~ Laura Esquivel; In Mexico, a repressed daughter forbidden to be with the man she loves learns how to affect her world via the food she serves to others. Recipes set the tone for every chapter.
Blackberry Crumble: A Culinary Mystery ~ Josi Kilpack; Sadie accepts her first investigation-for-hire and travels to Portland, Oregon, at the request of a woman who has suspicions about her wealthy father’s untimely death; includes eight recipes.
The Epicure’s Lament ~ Kate Christensen; Hugo smokes and cooks and sexually schemes and pokes his perverse nose into other people’s marriages and business; and he records these events as well as his mordant, funny, gorgeously articulated personal history and his thoughts on life and mortality in a series of notebooks complete with recipes.
Monsieur Pamplemousse ~ Michael Bond; An esteemed food critic and his trusty bloodhound, Pommes Frites, find themselves embroiled in mystery when they are served a man’s head on a platter. It’s the start of a light-hearted series set in France.
Chocolat (Chocolat #1) ~ Joanne Harris; Mayhem ensues when a newcomer opens a chocolate shop in a small French village. Soon the townspeople crave not only the delicious confections available to purchase but also the company of the eerily insightful shop owner.
World of Pies ~ Karen Stolz; Roxanne is our guide through a life that has moments of tenderness, poignancy, sorrow, and great humour, as well as some pretty great baking moments (recipes included).
Pomegranate Soup ~ Marsha Mehran; Each chapter is loosely based around a new recipe that is made in the cafe where the story is based. Mostly Middle Eastern
Househusband ~ Ad Hudler; Lincoln Menner is finding out just how hard it is to be a woman. “When his wife Jo was offered her dream job, Linc supported her wholeheartedly, leaving his thriving landscape business in Los Angeles and moving to Rochester, New York.
So there it is. The recipes that are contained in some of the above books are amazing and play a part in the novels as a whole. Even without the recipes, all these books are well worth taking some time out of your busy lives to read.