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Fiction for Foodies
There's a novel to satisfy any appetite.
The Abundance by
A luminous, bittersweet novel of India and the American midwest, immigrants and their first-generation children, and the power of cooking to bridge the gulfs between them.
Co-owner of Grappa, a chic New York City trattoria, Mira Rinaldi has an enviable apartment, a brand-new baby, and a frenzied schedule befitting her success. Everything changes the night she catches her husband, Jake, "wielding his whisk" with Grappa's new waitress. Mira's fiery response earns her a court-ordered stint in anger management and the beginning of legal and personal predicaments as she battles to save her restaurant and pick up the pieces of her life.
Baking Cakes in Kigali by
This gloriously written tale-set in modern-day Rwanda-introduces one of the most singular and engaging characters in recent fiction: Angel Tungaraza - mother, cake baker, keeper of secrets-a woman living on the edge of chaos, finding ways to transform lives, weave magic, and create hope amid the madness swirling all around her.
Birds of Paradise by
In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family: Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. This multi-layered novel about a family that comes apart at the seams and finds its way together again is a deeply satisfying and glorious feast of a book.
Bread and Butter by
"Kitchen Confidential" meets "Three Junes" in this mouthwatering novel about three brothers who run competing restaurants, and the culinary snobbery, staff stealing, and secret affairs that unfold in the back of the house.
Kirpal, called Kip, is shy and not yet twenty when he arrives for the first time at General Kumar's camp, nestled in the shadow of the Siachen Glacier. Kip becomes an apprentice under the camp's chef, Kishen, a fiery mentor who guides him toward the heady spheres of food and women. In this place of contradictions, erratic violence, and extreme temperatures, Kip learns to prepare local dishes and delicacies from around the globe. Even as months pass, Kip, a Sikh, feels secure in his allegiance to India, firmly on the right side of this interminable conflict. Then, one muggy day, a Pakistani "terrorist" with long, flowing hair is swept up on the banks of the river and changes everything.
The Chocolate Heart by
No one hates Paris--except Summer Corey. The moody winters. The artists and their ennui. The inescapable shadow of the Tour Eiffel. But things go from bad to worse when Summer stumbles into brooding, gorgeous chef pâtissier Luc Leroi and indecently propositions the hero of French cuisine.
The Chocolate Kiss by
At La Maison des Sorcieres, the window display is an enchanted forest of sweets, a collection of conical hats delights the eye and the habitués nibble chocolate witches from fanciful mismatched china. While in their tiny blue kitchen, Magalie Chaudron and her two aunts stir wishes into bubbling pots of heavenly chocolat chaud. But no amount of wishing will rid them of interloper Philippe Lyonais, who has the gall to open one of his world famous pastry shops right down the street. Philippe's creations seem to hold a magic of their own, drawing crowds of beautiful women to their little isle amidst the Seine, and tempting even Magalie to venture out of her ivory tower and take a chance, a taste... a kiss.
The Chocolate Touch by
Jaime Corey has survived a brutal attack and decides to treat herself to some chocolate therapy in Paris. She starts going to Dominique Richard's salon twice a day. Intrigued by Jaime, Dom crafts elaborate confections just for her. Although Dom is besotted, he doesn't dare relax around Jaime; he is a big man with a temper and afraid of turning into an abuser like his father. Jaime used to be a do-gooder, trying to save the world to make up for her privileged upbringing, and while Dom makes Jaime feel cherished and adored, she feels guilty for not giving anything in return. Both Jaime and Dom are highly complex characters, with layers of emotions, thorny pasts, and tangled relationships with family and friends.
Comfort Food by
In this smart, delicious novel a celebrity chef shows her friends and family the joy of fulfillment and manages to spice up her own life at the same time.
Deep Dish by
Chef extraordinaire Gina Foxton doesn't expect anything to be handed to her on a platter. After years of hard work, the former runner-up Miss Teen Vidalia Onion is now the host of her own local Georgia public television show called Fresh Start, and she's dating the show's producer. But when her show gets canceled - and she catches her boyfriend in flagrante delicto with the boss's wife - Gina realizes that she's meant for bigger and better things.
Edible Stories by
In these linked stories, Mark Kurlansky reveals the bond that can hold people together, tear them apart, or make them become vegan: food.
The Food of Love by
Laura, a twentysomething American, is on her first trip to Italy. She's completely enamored of the art, beauty, and, of course, food that Rome has to offer. Soon she's enamored of the handsome and charming Tomasso, too, who tells her he's a chef at the famed Templi restaurant. But Tomasso hasn't been entirely truthful; he's really just a waiter. The master chef behind the tantalizing meals is his talented but shy friend Bruno, who loves Laura from afar. Thus begins a classic comedy of errors full of romance, culinary magic, and the sensual atmosphere of Italy.
The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by
Hannah Sugarman seems to have it all. She works for an influential think tank in Washington, D.C., lives in a swanky apartment with her high-achieving boyfriend, and is poised for an academic career just like her parents. The only problem is that Hannah doesn't want any of it. What she wants is much simpler; to cook. When her relationship collapses, Hannah seizes the chance to do what she's always loved and launches an underground supper club out of her new landlord's town house.
The Girl with No Shadow by
Since she was a little girl, the wind has dictated every move Vianne Rocher has made, buffeting her from place to place, from the small French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and the baby, Rosette, safe.
How to Eat a Cupcake by
As the daughter of the St. Clairs' housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia's San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls oblivious to class differences could, until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship. A decade later, Annie bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother's death, and a painful secret jeopardizes Julia's engagement to the man she loves. A chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, but when a mysterious saboteur opens up old wounds, they must finally face the truth about their past or risk losing everything.
The Hundred-Foot Journey by
Born above his grandfather's modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in a small village in the French Alps. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India.
The Last Banquet by
Set against the backdrop of the Enlightenment, the delectable decadence of Versailles, and the French Revolution, The Last Banquet is an intimate epic that tells the story of one man's quest to know the world through its many and marvelous flavors.
Like Water for Chocolate by
A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.
The Lost Art of Mixing by
National bestselling author Bauermeister returns to the enchanting world of "The School of Essential Ingredients" in this luminous sequel. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind--and links that break--it is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by
It's true that Anna Trent is a supervisor in a chocolate factory...but that doesn't necessarily mean she knows how to make chocolate. And when a fateful accident gives her the opportunity to work at Paris's elite chocolatier Le Chapeau Chocolat, Anna expects to be outed as a fraud. But with a bit of luck and a lot of patience, Anna might learn that the sweetest things in life are always worth working for.
Mangoes and Quince by
An intoxicating novel about a woman who seduces an entire city with the exotic fare she creates in her home-run restaurant.
Out to Lunch by
Jenna has lost her best friend. With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes. But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the cake. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden.Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
Pomegranate Soup by
Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets-an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Café, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern.
The Potluck Club by
A surprising, multigenerational mix of women from Grace Church discover the power of prayer in this contemporary, humorous tale of down-home Christianity.
The Quilter's Kitchen by
Anna Del Maso had known that she wanted to be a chef since she was in the seventh grade. Her twin passions have converged in a brand-new position as head chef for Elm Creek Quilts, Waterford, Pennsylvania's popular quilting retreat. The Quilter's Kitchen follows Anna's flavorful explorations of the kitchens of Elm Creek Manor, past and present. As she records beloved recipes and creates original dishes seasoned with love, she discovers anew how the gifts of the table gather friends and family ever closer.
The Recipe Box by
Grace Holm-DAngelo is at her wits end, trying to create a new life from broken pieces. Newly divorced, she is navigating suddenly becoming a single mother to her fourteen-year-old daughter. Emma, resentful about being uprooted from Chicago to LA and still reeling from the divorce, is generally giving her mother a hard time. Then Grace's best friend, Leeza, succumbs to breast cancer after a long battle, and Grace realizes that you don't get a second chance at life.
The School of Essential Ingredients by
A "heartbreakingly delicious" national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life
Table for Seven by
A warm and witty novel about friendship, fine dining, and learning that life doesn't always turn out quite how we expect it to.
That Part Was True by
When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food.
This Cake Is for the Party by
In these ten stories, linked frequently by the sharing of food, Sarah Selecky reaffirms the life of everyday situations with startling significance.
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by
This is a story about accepting the people we love-the people we have to love and the people we choose to love, the families we're given and the families we make. It's the story of two women adrift in New York, a widow and an almost-orphan, each searching for someone she's lost. It's the story of how, even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby.
Emotionally raw and emphatically sensual, Tongue is the story of the demise of an obsessive romance and a woman's culinary journey toward self-restoration and revenge.
Too Many Cooks by
In this hilarious, insightful new novel from the author of A Second Bite at the Apple, a cookbook ghostwriter finds that she's bitten off more than she can chew... When Kelly Madigan is offered a job abroad right after reading a letter from her late mother urging her to take more risks, she sees it as a sign. Kelly's new ghostwriting assignment means moving to London to work for Natasha Spencer--movie star, lifestyle guru, and wife of a promising English politician. As it turns out, Natasha is also selfish, mercurial, and unwilling to let any actual food past her perfect lips. Still, in between testing dozens of kale burgers and developing the perfect chocolate mousse, Kelly is having adventures. Some are glamorous; others, like her attraction to her boss's neglected husband, are veering out of control. Kelly knows there's no foolproof recipe for a happy life. But how will she know if she's gone too far in reaching for what she wants? "Dana Bate's engaging characters will draw you in, her culinary descriptions will whet your appetite, and her wit and humor will leave you wanting more.
Food journalist, wine connoisseur, and onetime bestselling writer Bruno Tannenbaum has long believed these are the elements of a full life. The rest will take care of itself. But lately, nothing's going right for Bruno. His career is floundering, he's separated from his wife and their two daughters, and is drinking his way through a dwindling bank account, certain all that's left of life is a downward slope into obscurity. Then Bruno stumbles on a clue leading to a "lost" wine vintage, one of the many bottles stolen and smuggled out of France during WWII, now worth a small fortune and sought after by wine collectors throughout the world. Bruno realizes that finding this bottle could be the key to restoring his career-maybe even writing his comeback book. But his discovery is not a secret for long; as word of his finding spreads, nefarious characters interested in the bottle start appearing at every turn. Bruno scrapes together his final resources, calls in favors he may ultimately regret and sets off on a grand adventure.
When in Doubt, Add Butter by
For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma's takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and - oh yes - butter.
White Truffles in Winter by
White Truffles in Winter imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz.
The Whole World Over by
Greenie Duquette devotes most of her passionate attention to her Greenwich Village bakery and her four-year-old son, George. Her husband, Alan, seems to have fallen into a midlife depression, while Walter, a traditional gay man who has become her closest professional ally, is nursing a broken heart. It is at Walter's restaurant that the visiting governor of New Mexico tastes Greenie's coconut cake and decides to woo her away from the city to be his chef. For reasons both ambitious and desperate, she accepts -- and finds herself heading west without her husband. This impulsive decision will change the course of several lives within and beyond Greenie's orbit.
Hungry for a good mystery? Try an entree from one of the following series.
(Note: click on the series title for more delicious books available at the Valley Cottage Library)