Food and books are longtime companions. If you’re looking to match the two, consider these suggestions provided by Erin Wallace, adult services librarian at the Lewiston City Library. The book descriptions are from the VALNet and other library catalogues.
A chai latte, read “Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel” by Eli Brow. In 1819, kidnapped chef Owen Wedgwood transforms meager shipboard supplies into sumptuous meals at the behest of his kidnapper, pirate queen Mad Hannah
Mabbot, while she pushes her exhausted crew to track down a deadly privateer.
Something from the garden, read “The Hands on Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving & Natural Homekeeping” by Erica Strauss. A fresh take on modern homemaking, this is a practical (and sometimes sassy) guide to maximizing your time, effort, and energy in the kitchen and beyond. With a focus on less consumerism, it will teach you how to organize your kitchen and home to make the best use of your time. For those yearning to live a more ecologically minded, grounded lifestyle, this book is full of practical, no-nonsense advice, fabulous recipes, and time- and money-saving techniques.
Peanut butter bars, read “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal. A young girl, Eva, finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.
Something with a hint of lemon, read “Gold Fame Citrus” by Claire Vaye Watkins. Drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. Most of the Southwest has been evacuated. Luz and Ray are holdouts, squatting in a starlet’s abandoned mansion and subsisting on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge and improvise, their love somehow blooming in this arid place. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins.
Anything and everything, read “Edible Stories” by Mark Kurlansky. In these linked stories, Kurlansky reveals the bond that can hold people together, tear them apart, or make them become vegan: food. Through muffins or hot dogs, an indigenous Alaskan fish soup, a bean curd Thanksgiving turkey or potentially toxic crème brulee, a rotating cast of characters learns how to honor the past, how to realize you’re not in love with someone any more, and how to forgive.
A large dinner party, read “A Banquet of Consequences” by Elizabeth George. Still reeling from a previous fall from grace, police detective Barbara Havers has a chance to redeem her standing – if she can unravel the very twisted threads that led to the murder of a prominent English feminist. Meanwhile, her superior officer Thomas Lynley pursues a love interest even as he keeps a sharp lookout for any slip-ups by Havers.
Everything, read “Food: A Love Story” by Jim Gaffigan. Stand-up comedian and author Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet (“choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover”) and decrying the worst offenders (“kale is the early morning of foods”). Insights include why he believes coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water and the answer to the age-old question which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow or the bacon cheeseburger?
Wine, read “Eight Hundred Grapes” by Laura Dave. When her wedding is canceled after her fiancé reveals a shocking secret, Georgia Ford returns to her family’s Sonoma vineyard, where she expects the comfort of her long-married parents, her brothers and everything familiar, but discovers that her fiancé wasn’t the only one keeping secrets.
Bacon, always bacon, read “Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat” by Barry Estabrook. An eye-opening exploration of the commercial pork industry that tells you how you can bring home the bacon without compromising your conscience.
Too busy reading to eat, read “Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books” by Cara Nicoletti. Nicoletti serves up stories and recipes inspired by beloved books and the food that gives their characters depth and personality. From the breakfast sausage in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House in the Big Woods” to chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream from Jonathan Franzen’s “The Corrections,” these books and the tasty treats in them put her on the road to happiness.