West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Eat, Drink, and Read

This list delivers engaging, discussion-worthy fiction and non-fiction perfect for book lovers who like to cook and dine.

The particular sadness of lemon cake : a novel by Aimee Bender

Being able to taste people's emotions in food may at first be horrifying. But young, unassuming Rose Edelstein grows up learning to harness her gift as she becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern. A luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad

The chicken sisters by K Dell'Antonia

"Fannie Flagg meets Elin Hilderbrand in this deliciously charming debut novel about fried chicken, family feuds, and the foibles of the human heart"--

Pride, prejudice, and other flavors : a novel by Sonali Dev

It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep. Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules. Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes. Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life. As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with...

Recipe for persuasion : a novel by Sonali Dev

"Chef Ashna Raje thinks that joining the cast of Cooking with the Stars will help save her restaurant and prove to her mother that she's not a failure, but when she's paired with her first love, Rico Silva, the kitchen begins to heat up."--Publisher description

Number one Chinese restaurant : a novel by Lillian Li

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Natalie Tan's book of luck and fortune by Roselle Lim

At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant. The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

The city baker's guide to country living by Louise Miller

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts. Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. and when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought. But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better

The chef by James Patterson

In the Carnival days leading up to Mardi Gras, Detective Caleb Rooney comes under investigation for a murder he is accused of committing in the line of duty as a Major Crimes investigator for the New Orleans Police Department. Has his sideline at the Killer Chef food truck given him a taste for murder? While fighting the charges against him, Rooney makes a pair of unthinkable discoveries. His beloved city is under threat of attack. And these would-be terrorists may be local. As crowds of revelers gather, Rooney follows a fearsome trail of clues, racing from outlying districts into the city center. He has no idea what, or who, he'll face in defense of his hometown, only that innocent lives are at stake

Delicious! : A novel by Ruth Reichl

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills. To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.

The kitchen front : a novel by Jennifer Ryan

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses; the Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is putting on a cooking contest--and the grand prize is a job as the program's first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the contest presents a crucial chance to change their lives. For a young widow, it's a chance to pay off her husband's debts and keep aroof over her children's heads. For a kitchen maid, it's a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For the lady of the manor, it's a chance to escape her wealthy husband's increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it's a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession. These four women are giving the competition their all--even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together serve only to break it apart?"--

Kitchens of the great Midwest : a novel by J Stradal

When Lars Thorvald's wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine--and a dashing sommelier--he's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter--starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva's journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that's a testament to her spirit and resilience

The dinner list by Rebecca Serle

"We've been waiting for an hour." That's what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That's the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed." At one point or another, we've all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we'd like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends with in her utterly captivating novel, THE DINNER LIST, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there's a reason these six people have been gathered together. Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, THE DINNER LIST is a romance for our times. Bon appetit

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

"Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her―feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it. Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up. When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?"--

Tomorrow there will be apricots : a novel by Jessica Soffer

Lorca, the daughter of a demanding chef, spends hours pouring over cookbooks, seeking out hard-to-find ingredients, and preparing her mother's favorite foods in the hope of eliciting her distant parents' love and attention

The lager queen of Minnesota : a novel by J Stradal

"A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest"--

Supper club : a novel by Lara (Writer of Treats) Williams

"A sharply intelligent and intimate debut novel about a secret society of hungry young women who meet after dark and feast to reclaim their appetites--and their physical spaces--that posits the question: if you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into?" --

Miss Cecily's recipes for exceptional ladies : a novel by Vicky Zimmerman

"After a major life upheaval on the eve of her 40th birthday, Kate Parker finds herself volunteering at Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. There she meets 97-year-old Cecily Finn. Cecily's tongue is as sharp as her mind but she has lost her spark, simply resigning herself to the Imminent End. Having no patience with Kate's plight, Cecily prescribes her a self-help book with a difference - it's a 1957 cookbook, featuring menus for anything life can throw at "the easily dismayed." So begins an unlikely friendship between two lonely and stubborn souls - one at the end of her life, one stuck in the middle - who discover one big life lesson: never be ashamed to ask for more.."--

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E Reichert

"Jobless and forced home to Wisconsin, journalist Sabrina Monroe can tolerate reunions with frenemies and kisses from old boyfriends but not the literal ghosts that greet her in this heartwarming tale of the power of love and connection from acclaimed author Amy E. Reichert. For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells-the self-described Water Park Capital of the World-means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina has always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who is much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina's side all through her lonely childhood. Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous brandy old-fashioneds. He is charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she does not have time for romance-she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she is in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his deep-fried cheese curds recipe? When the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time and with Ray in her corner, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is"--

Kitchen confidential : adventures in the culinary underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Almost two decades ago, the New Yorker published a now infamous article, “Don’t Eat before You Read This,” by then little-known chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain spared no one’s appetite as he revealed what happens behind the kitchen door. The article was a sensation, and the book it spawned, the now classic Kitchen Confidential, became an even bigger sensation, a megabestseller with over one million copies in print. Frankly confessional, addictively acerbic, and utterly unsparing, Bourdain pulls no punches in this memoir of his years in the restaurant business. Fans will love to return to this deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—this time with never-before-published material.

Eat, pray, love : one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Like many others, around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. Although she had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want, including a husband, a home, and a successful career, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. This is an account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life

What she ate : six remarkable women and the food that tells their stories by Laura Shapiro

"A beloved culinary historian's short takes on six famous women through the lens of food and cooking--what they ate and how their attitudes toward food offer surprising new insights into their lives. Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of ourlives--social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people's attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in hertime, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table. It's a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to "having it all" meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin"--

Women in the kitchen : twelve essential cookbook writers who defined the way we eat, from 1661 to today by Anne Willan

“Women in the Kitchen explores the development of home cooking from the first published cookbook in 1661 to the early colonial days to the transformative popular works by Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, Marcella Hazan, and Alice Waters. Willan covers a brief biography of each woman, highlighting her key contributions, seminal books, and representative dishes. The book features fifty original recipes—as well as updated versions Willan has tested and modernized for the contemporary kitchen. This engaging narrative moves seamlessly through the centuries to help readers understand the ways cookbook authors inspired on another, that they in part owe their palaces in history to those who came before them, and how the forever changed the culinary landscape.”--inside jacket

My life in France by Julia Child

The legendary food expert describes her years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence and her journey from a young woman who could not cook or speak any French to the publication of her cookbooks and becoming "The French Chef."

Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen : how one girl risked her marriage, her job, and her sanity to master the art of living by Julie Powell

The author recounts how she escaped the doldrums of an unpromising career by mastering every recipe in Julia Child's 1961 classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," a year-long endeavor that transformed her life

Save me the plums : my Gourmet memoir by Ruth Reichl

When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America's oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone's boss. Yet Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no? This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl's leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media--the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down. Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams--even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be
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