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Enticing Culinary Fiction: Novels with Recipes

Compiled by Jennifer Adams | Summaries from ContentCafe | October 2010

  • Soul Kitchen
    by Poppy Z. Brite
    Liquor has become one of the hottest restaurants in town, thanks in part to chefs Rickey and G-man’s wildly creative, booze-laced food.
  • Liquor
    by Poppy Z. Brite
    New Orleans natives Rickey and G-man are lifetime friends and down-and-out line cooks desperate to make a quick buck. When Rickey concocts the idea of opening a restaurant in their alcohol-loving hometown where every dish packs a spirited punch, they know they’re on their way to the bank.
  • Bread Alone
    by Sarah-Kate Lynch
    Thirty-one-year-old Wynter Morrison is lost when her husband leaves her for another woman. Desperate for a change, she moves to Seattle, where she spends aimless hours at a local bakery sipping coffee and inhaling the sweet aromas of freshly-made bread.
  • Garden Spells
    Sarah Addison Allen
    The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.
  • The Cookbook Collector: a novel
    by Allegra Goodman
    Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily’s boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess’s boyfriends, not so much.
  • Secrets of the Tsil Café: a novel with recipes
    by Thomas Fox Averil
    Young Weston Hingler becomes caught in the middle of his parents' culinary diversity, secrets, histories, infidelities, and needs as he grows up in a cross-cultural extended family that exists between two kitchens--one new world, the other traditional.
  • Gourmet Rhapsody
    by Muriel Barbery; translated from the French by Alison Anderson
    A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.
  • The angel and the Jabberwocky murders: an Augusta Goodnight mystery (with heavenly recipes)
    by Mignon F. Ballard
    Guardian angel and heavenly sleuth Augusta Goodnight joins forces with Lucy Nan Pilgrim, a long-time resident of Stone's Throw, South Carolina, to investigate the mysterious disappearances of a number of young women.
  • The School of Essential Ingredients
    by Erica Bauermeister
    Gathering at Lillian's Restaurant for a weekly cooking class, a young mother struggles with the growing demands of her family, an Italian kitchen designer works to adapt to life in America, and a widower mourns the loss of his wife to breast cancer.
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
    by Aimee Bender
    Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone's secret realities.
  • Chocolat: A Novel
    by Joanne Harris
    When the beautiful and mysterious Vianne moves to Lansquenet and opens a chocolate shop across from the church, the inhabitants of the tiny village find themselves torn between the solemn law of religion and the joyful rewards of Vianne's confections.
  • The Food of Love
    by Anthony Capella
    Enchanted by Italy's rich culture, first-time American visitor Laura finds herself falling for the handsome Tomasso, who woos her with magnificent meals and hides the fact that shy, enamored Bruno is actually the chef.
  • The quilter's kitchen: an Elm Creek Quilts novel with recipes
    by Jennifer Chiaverini
    Having joined Elm Creek's quilting circle, newest member and chef Anna remembers her past and present experiences in her community's kitchens and becomes the writer of the group's official cookbook, in a tale complemented by one hundred recipes.
  • Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
    by Laura Esquivel
    Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to a tyrannical ranch must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother.
  • The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship
    by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel
    Lilly and Val, friends from childhood, reveal their feelings, secrets, and recipes through a series of letters, until a misunderstanding separates them for years and a death forces them to decide if they want to reconcile.
  • Pomegranate Soup: A Novel
    by Marsha Mehran
    Three Iranian sisters--Marjan, Layla, and Bahar Aminpour--flee the turmoil of the Islamic Revolution in their native country to seek refuge in Ireland, where they open the exotic Babylon Caf‚ amongst the quirky inhabitants of a colorful Irish town, in a debut novel that comes complete with original Persian recipes.
  • Batter Off Dead: A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery with Recipes
    by Tamar Myers
    When Minerva J. Jay, a local lady known for her prodigious appetite, collapses after consuming her pancakes at a church breakfast, Police Chief Chris Ackerman enlists the aid of a pregnant Magdalena Yoder to investigate the case, which is soon complicated by the death of their prime suspect.
  • Baking Cakes in Kigali
    by Gaile Parkin
    Rendered a confidant and supportive friend for her willingness to listen to her neighbors in genocide-stricken Rwanda, baker Angel Tungaraza provides decadent confections and transforming counsel to a series of troubled customers.

Category: Reading Lists

 
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