Friday, June 4, 2010

Top 5 food books

List by Rachel

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.
- Julia Child

The ever lovely Rachel has submitted a list of her top 5 foodbooks. Rachel regularly reviews for our website and is as passionate about books as she is about cooking and this enthusiasm comes through quite clearly in a lot of her foodie book reviews. If you've never read her literary criticisms of our books then you're in for a treat - they are in turns thoughtful, hilarious, evocative, provocative and, most of all, downright entertaining. Enjoy :)

Other food books Rachel has reviewed:

The day I ate whatever I wanted and other small acts of liberation / Elizabeth Berg
Fiction: A short story collection that explores women's lives, from every woman's struggle with food and eating, to love and relationships, to life and aging, to small acts of rebellion along the way.

The Italian wedding / Nicky Pellegrino
Fiction: Two feuding families, two love stories and a feast of delicious Italian food. As Pieta stiches and beads her sister's wedding gown, she uncovers the secrets that make her family what it is and stands between her and happiness.

Note: Kiwi-Anglo-Italiano fiction - whoaza! Check out Rachel's review of 'The Italian wedding'

Recipes for a perfect marriage / Kate Kerrigan
Fiction: New York food writer Tressa returns from her honeymoon worried that she has married her impossibly handsome new husband Dan out of panic rather than love. In 1930s Ireland, her grandmother, Bernardine, has wed James, the quiet and unexciting local schoolteacher, after her family is unable to raise a dowry to allow her to marry her true love, Michael. On her own wedding day, Tressa is offered her grandmother's diaries and hidden in the pages, she finds unexpected comfort, learning - amongst the timeless recipes for jam, soda bread and rhubarb tart - of an age old narrative about grandparents, her mother, and ultimately herself. And soon she realises that she has been given a true gift, for what she discovers is how to capture the perfect marriage.

Note: Food for great and wonderful thought - check out Rachel's review of 'Recipes for a perfect marriage.'

Under the Tuscan sun : at home in Italy / by Frances Mayes
Nonfiction: The story of Frances Mayes' experiences of buying and restoring an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside. In the vibrant local markets and neighbouring hill towns, she explores the Italian landscape, history, cuisine and way of life. Included are two sections of recipes. Excerpts from this book appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and House beautiful.

Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen : how one girl risked her marriage, her job, and her sanity to master the art of living / Julie Powell
Nonfiction: Powell became an Internet celebrity with her 2004 blog chronicling her yearlong odyssey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A frustrated secretary in New York City, Powell embarked on "the Julie/Julia project" to find a sense of direction, and both the cooking and the writing quickly became all-consuming. Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog, but Powell expands on her experience and gives generous background about her personal life: her doting husband, wacky friends, evil co-workers. Powell never met Julia Child, but the venerable chef's spirit is present throughout, and Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s.

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