Ten Books to Make You Salivate

I like food. Do you like food too? I bet you do.

In addition to actually eating food (an activity I highly recommend), reading about it  gives me a great deal of pleasure. In fact, I can’t seem to turn away from a book that contains these ingredients: bread and/or cakes (big or small), redemption, self-discovery, empowerment, and LUUUUUUUV.

Dear Reader, you look famished. Can I tempt you with one of the following?

Sourdough by Robin Sloan. Lois Clary is a software engineer who was entrusted with a special sourdough starter. As she learns to care for it, her life is transformed and magical things begin to happen. I created my own starter after reading this book and baked several loaves of bread. MMM…

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert. This is the love story between a talented chef and a food critic. A coconut cake played an important role in the main character’s journey towards self-knowledge and opens her up to the possibility of love. I’m tempted to bake Grandma Luella’s coconut cake to see if it brings me the same sort of understanding and deep bond with my special person. Plus, I’m sure it would be deeee-lish-ous!

Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks. After her husband leaves her for another woman, Wynter Morrison runs away to Seattle and gets a job in a bakery, where the ritual of kneading dough and feeding customers provides her with the healing she needs. This appealed to me on three levels: recovery after divorce, living in Seattle (my hometown), and baking bread. It was just what the doctor ordered at a particular time in my life.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg. This book is not like the others. It’s not fiction; rather, it’s a heartfelt memoir by one of my foodie heroes. Each story culminates in a recipe that evokes certain memories and feelings for the author. I’m curious about the pickled grapes!

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue. Two friends, one, a free-spirited baker, and the other, a wealthy business woman, try to heal the rift in their friendship by opening a bakery together. There are tearful scenes, hunky men, and sweet treats. This is junk food for the brain. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan. This plot might sound familiar. Polly Waterford moves to a new town after experiencing a tough breakup. She begins baking and selling bread from her shop, and in so doing, forges ties with the small community, finds herself, and falls in love. This is a thoroughly satisfying read, particularly for the bread baking details and the description of the seaside resort.

The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig. And now for something different: Claire O’Neil can taste feelings (!) and knows just how to customize her creations to help the people who come to her shop. (It’s not so different that the comfort factor is lost: girl whose life is a mess moves into town, sets up shop, bakes a lot of yummy things, finds herself, and falls in love.)

One for the Money by Janet Ivanovich. This one is different from all the others because the main character can’t cook anything to save her life; however, she eats with gusto. I swear, every time I read a Stephanie Plum novel I end up with a craving for fried chicken and donuts. Her grandmother also shoots a roast turkey by accident (or on purpose?) one time, so there’s that. I love Stephanie, the bumbling bounty hunter. The whole series is hilarious and bad for your waistline.

The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal. Elena Alvarez moves to Aspen, Colorado to pursue her dream of cooking in a celebrated restaurant. She makes a lot of delectable meals and spars with the restaurant owner who is as delicious as any entrée she whips up.

Bliss by Hilary Fields. Serafina Wilde moves to Santa Fe to get away from a disastrous relationship and to pursue her dream of running a bakery. Her Aunt Pauline gives her the jump start she needs by allowing her to take over the family business, Pauline’s House of Passion, provided she maintain the “back room.” It’s a fun and sexy romp…with cupcakes.

(Full Disclosure: Hilary Fields is a college friend of mine.)


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

This week’s topic is Books with Sensory Reading Memories. These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, etc. Ideas include books you read while on vacation, books that made you hungry for certain foods, books you’ve buddy read with loved ones, etc. (Submitted by Jessica @ A Cocoon of Books)