The very first book I reviewed for 5 Minutes for Books over 4 years ago (has it been that long?). It was about a woman who leaves her job as a chef in New York City after a scathing restaurant review and flees to Tuscany. Ever since then I’ve enjoyed reading and reviewing books that revolve around food. I’m fortunate to be married to a man who not only likes to cook but is good at it, otherwise I’d be living on pasta and chicken, the only things I can cook successfully. But I sure love to eat, and I love to read about those who are able to take some basic ingredients and turn them into a feast. Here are some books that we’ve reviewed that may require a napkin to clean up your drool.
- The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee mixes two of my favorite sub-genres, food and magical realism, with this story of a woman who gets sudden inspiration to make a dish that sooner or later is needed by someone else, whether it’s last-minute cupcakes for a bake sale or comfort food for a friend in need.
- In The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate, an aspiring chef opens an underground supper club in her unknowing landlord’s apartment while working her unsatisfying day job and trying to convince her parents she doesn’t want to go to grad school.
- When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison is another fun, light novel that combines a love of food with romance. In this novel, a personal chef deals with picky and persnickety clients and a one-night stand who’s more of a part of her life than she realizes.
- The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister has been on my to-read list since Jennifer reviewed it 5 years ago. In her words, “This is the story of a cooking class. Through sections told in each character’s voice, the reader learns what brought the person to the class, and how the class is changing them.”
- In Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell, the main character is not the creator of the food, but becomes involved in marketing for a bakery while dealing with her own personal problems, dishing with her best friends, and needing to decide between two men.
While each of these books revolves around food, they are different enough that no concept is repeated. It seems that with novels about food comes some romance, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.