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Reading Group Books....


Fay Jai
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So....

I am sure that this has been asked before, but I couldn't find the thread.

The reading group that I belong to has made the mistake of selecting me to pick next month's book.

I am to pick 5-6 books that the rest of the group will vote on. I have selected 3 already, but need a couple more for the group to vote on.

They need to be fiction and available in paperback. I have one book of short stories already, so that is probably my quota there.

I have already selected "The Devil's Larder" by Jim Crace and will be choosing one of bourdain's books, (duh...however, suggestions on which one would be welcome, as I haven't read any of his fiction.)

(I promised the group a Stephen King book, so that is the other one)

Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated!

~Jason

"So, do you want me to compromise your meal for you?" - Waitress at Andy's Diner, Dec 4th, 2004.

The Fat Boy Guzzle --- 1/2 oz each Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Southern Comfort, Absolut Citron over ice in a pint glass, squeeze 1/2 a lemon and top with 7-up...Credit to the Bar Manager at the LA Cafe in Hong Kong who created it for me on my hire. Thanks, Byron. Hope you are well!

http://bloatitup.com

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If you're looking for novels with a foodie bent (as opposed to non-fiction), I recommend both Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor and Rare Birds by Edward Riche. Both entertaining reads.

Of course, they're also both by Canadian authors, so I'm not sure how widely available they'll be outside Canada. :biggrin:

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Our book group is currently reading A Cook's Tour. I think it's a good all around choice that appeals to everyone and is a good starter for anyone who hasn't read Bourdain before. Our group also does a potluck when we are finished with our book with foods of the same type that we've been reading about. ACT gives us lots of options.

edited to say I missed the "fiction" part...Gone Bamboo, perhaps?

Edited by duckduck (log)

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Here are a few novels that involve food and cooking that I've read in various book clubs:

Secrets of the Tsil Cafe by Thomas Fox Averill

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

My Year of Meats and All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki

A Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

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I recently read a novel that I enjoyed: Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty (aka Kate Kerrigan). It contains two parallel stories of an Irish woman and her Irish-American grand-daughter (a New York food writer). Their two stories are tied together with recipes. Easy read covering food, generations and relationship.

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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Omnivore's Dilemma. This link demonstrates how much controversy and discussion the book generates. Perfect for people who slip back and forth between discussing the book and talking about themselves. Everyone will end up comparing the ways they shop, cook and the relative merits of nearby places to buy groceries.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto which you can browse here. It's short, quirky and utterly different if you've never read the author before. (She tends to return to same subjects.) Impressive as the work of a 24-year old and impressive still among startling first novels. Quite touching. Reading first page got to me right away. Delightfully short. Seemingly effortless, simple, straight-forward prose. Food as comfort, kitchen as home, family, food when mourning, identity, loss, no (wo)man is an island even in Japan, friendship....

Since your other friends in book club are not foodies, they may be interested in books you take for granted. Their first MFK Fisher, for example. Tender to the Bone, especially if some in the group remember the 70s or enjoy autobiographical writing. Heat is a fun, fast read but I don't know that there's much to talk about other than admiration for the wit and observational skills of dynamic author, or the last trip to Italy or best restaurant meal.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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They need to be fiction and available in paperback.

Given these requirements, it seems that The Omnivore's Dilemma is out, as is anything by Ruth Reichl or MFK Fisher.

I did love Kitchen -- forgot about that one.

I have already selected "The Devil's Larder" by Jim Crace and will be choosing one of bourdain's books, (duh...however, suggestions on which one would be welcome, as I haven't read any of his fiction.)

Although I enjoyed The Devil's Larder, my book group gave it very mixed reviews.

As for Bourdain's fiction, I liked Bone in the Throat.

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Stephen King isn't so bad a choice.

Choose some of his food-related work like:

"Thinner" that he wrote under the psuedonym Richard Bachman.

Then there's also his, in my opnion, best story ever called "The Body" in the collection of four novellas titled "Different Seasons". "The Body" was made into the movie "Stand By Me". Two other novellas in the book were translated into films, as well ("Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" became the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" but I think the film bears little resemblance to the novella).

I mention "The Body" because there's an infamous blueberry pie-eating contest in it. If you remember the movie "Stand By Me", you know what it's all about. :wink:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.

It's not exactly *foodie* as such, nobody in it goes to a restaurant, but it talks a lot about food from the perspective of farming, gardening, nature and the food chain in general. And it's a wonderful book.

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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Has anyone read these novels? What did you think?

Crescent by Diane Abu-Jaber

St. Burl’s Obituary by Daniel Akst

The Butter Did It : a gastronomic tale of love and murder by Phyllis Richman

Edited by Vervain (log)
Emily
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Oops, JAZ, yes, I did overlook the request for fiction in my messianic belief that O's D would be perfect.

Fab, never heard of it, so thanks for rec.

And if your group demands Stephen King, perhaps you should look into one of the Nero Wolf mysteries by Rex Stout; Too Many Cooks is most appropriate. The detective-protagonist is fat and his persnickety dining is just one of the devices used to demonstrate how cultivated the agoraphobic snob is.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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