Food themed books to read

Since I love cooking and reading, it makes perfect sense that I love to read books that have a foodie theme. I’ve already read many. My favorites include The Hundred-Foot Journey, Kitchen Confidential, Heat, and Blood Bones and Butter. I wasn’t crazy about Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires — about her life as a restaurant critic – although it sounded like it would be good.

I recently joined the Reese Witherspoon book club on Facebook, and was thrilled when someone asked for other food-themed books. You’ll find a real collection here, everything from romances and mysteries, to memoirs, investigative pieces, and comic relief.

Have you read any of these? If so, let me know which one I should start with. Have more to share that I missed? Put them in the comments.

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The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

I have always been an avid reader, but whenever I read on my iPad, I tend to think to away from the book. Then I can never get into it, the library wants it back, and poof, it’s gone. Or, even better, I buy the book on my iPad on impulse because it sounds good, and it’s not.

That’s why I am no longer buying e-books and only reading hardcover. For the most part, it works. I love feeling the heaviness of the book in my hands, I love turning the pages, being able to see what page I’m on (something I can’t always see on my iPad), and knowing I can look back a few pages if I forgot something.

I went to the library a few weeks ago, and The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield was sitting on the bookshelf, just waiting for me. A Goodreads frihomecoming of samuel lakeend had told me she liked it so I gave it a shot. It was the type of book that can give you a stomach ache and keep you up at night because you want to keep reading to make sure the characters are okay. That’s my kinda book.

I am not a religious person, and this is a book for people who want to believe in miracles. It’s set in the South, I think, around the 1950s, but there’s nothing strong in the setting to make that a significant part of the plot. It’s not about civil rights, or segregation as one might think in that era. Rather it’s about good vs. evil.

I don’t want to give the plot away, but I will tell you that Samuel Lake is a preacher who brings his wife and family back to live with her somewhat eccentric family (even that’s not a good description) after he is denied a new preaching post. The dynamics between the family and a nearby neighbor drive the story. The plot centers around his adolescent daughter, Swan, in a way that reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird (a book I readily admit I did not really enjoy. I know. That’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true.)

This book captured my heart from the minute I started it and kept me enraptured in the story until the very end. Bad things happen to good people. But that’s all I’m going to tell you. Read it for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

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House of Sand and Fog

Have you read the House of Sand and Fog? My mom recommended it, and I am now recommending it to you.

house of sand and fog

I had vaguely heard about the book; knew it had been published a few years ago, that they made a movie out of it, but never had interest in reading it. She told me she couldn’t put it down. That made me pick it up.

The novel tells the parallel lives of a disposed Iranian soldier and a California dreamer, whose paths cross in the most conflicting way. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that you can love and hate both of them equally. The characters are so well written, and the book flips between each of their situations, which spiral out of their control quite quickly.

This book kept me awake at night as I thought about the ethical dilemmas each faced, who was right, who was wrong, and how the system got the best of them. It was really a powerful read. I can’t wait to see the movie.