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127 answers 3335 views
39c04017 7e7e 43b2 9344 e529de61a1bd  kandm
Kristy Mucci

Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

There were a few great books on our "52" list: http://www.food52.com/blog...
Community-tested and approved!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Thanks, Kristy. I loved Blood, Bones and Butter. I wonder if my book group would.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

I'm almost finished with it and have very much enjoyed it, too. I've had a few can't-put-it-down moments with it, which I always take as a good sign. This afternoon I was in a coffeeshop and a woman asked what I was reading. I held up the book and said it was really good. She read the title out loud, then stood up and moved to another table.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

just decided to read Blood, Bones and Butter with a book group. will keep you posted after our meeting in late March. i loved the book, as much for its coming of age in New York City and identity themes as for the food, although the food was also great. brings up some interesting moral questions as well. went out for lunch at prune after reading it with a friend. discussed book in hushed tones while eating lunch.

4f98639e b8b3 42cd 9b01 ec8a503c5fdd  2010 09 15 14.22.07
added over 4 years ago

luvcookbooks, am about to read BLOOD, BONES AND BUTTER prior to an early March meal at Prune. Can't wait!

51d6debe 8184 4f26 9614 c25e2aa571c3  p3200173
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

I love Prune. If you go order the tripe if it's on the menu. Wonderful.

4f98639e b8b3 42cd 9b01 ec8a503c5fdd  2010 09 15 14.22.07
added over 4 years ago

Thanks for the tip, pierino! I had tripe as a teenager and didn't like it one bit, but that was then. I have been salivating over the menu online. Have tried to get in there on many other trips to NYC without success, so this will be a treat.

Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added over 4 years ago

Blood Bones and Butter is a great quick read, but there is quite a bit of juicy stuff to ponder.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

Prune is incredibly tiny. I've had really good luck getting in there on my last two visits. And this is a really great food neighborhood including Jewish deli's (Russ and Daughters) and knisheries one block south on E. Houston.

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added over 4 years ago

I'm a magical realism junkie, so I'm quick to recommend something by Marquez as my go-to. But lately I'm trying to venture into things written in this century. I just wrapped up Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It was completely different from what I would normally pick up but I enjoyed it, it was a quick read and fun to talk about.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Gabriella, please tell me what else you have read that you've liked. You and I have the same taste in books. I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 4 years ago

I loved that too - have you read the Madonnas of Echo Park?

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

No--thanks for the suggestion!

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Love in the Time of Cholera

39c04017 7e7e 43b2 9344 e529de61a1bd  kandm
Kristy Mucci

Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

I loved that book!

1d0d675a 5598 44a5 865e 32730d2a1273  186003 1004761561 1198459 n
added over 4 years ago

Me Too!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver is great - it's one that's best read with a book group though because it's pretty dark, but there's LOTS to talk about.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is a favorite of mine too, as is Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright (actually by Steven Millhauser - that's the full name of the book).

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Red Tent was awesome

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 4 years ago

Red Tent was one of our favorites, too. Gotta love the Old Testament.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I never could get into the Red Tent, but I've been wanting to read We Need to Talk About Kevin. The Red Tent is my sister's favorite.

Fbc31129 dd77 4f50 92da 5ddc4a29c892  summer 2010 1048
added over 4 years ago

Goon Squad was hands down one of the best books I've read in a long time. I also recently read and liked The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. Oh and The Believers by Zoe Heller, which I picked up randomly in an airport and loved. Both good book club material.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Thanks--we loved Eugenides' Middlesex--one of the few books that we all liked equally. We also read The Believers. (I forgot about that till I looked it up.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. EVERYONE who has ever been to a doctor should read this one. Also, check out the World Book Night foundation, whose mission is to get more people reading

Cef49d72 d554 46db a888 e97e0311e08e  cimg0737
added over 4 years ago

My book group just read Henrietta Lacks. I totally agree -- this is a wonderful book group choice with lots to talk about. It's the story of a woman whose cells were taken without her consent, but they never died and became an important key to creating the polio vaccine, cloning and other medical breakthroughs. It's non fiction but is very narrative driven. My book group also recently read The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman, which is a retelling of the story of Jesus. This is a very provocative book and yielded a great discussion. One of the intriguing themes in this book is how stories become stories. Lastly, for something a little different, I recommend Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, which is a wonderful historical novel about a fascinating but little-known affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and an independent and intellectual feminist, which unfolds during the early years of the 20th century. I really love seeing everyone else's book recommendations. Clearly food52ers love to read almost as much as they love to cook!

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Very intersting read; a good book.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

on the list. Thanks.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Thank you for mentioning World Book Night! I just found out that I'll be a giver-outer that night.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 4 years ago

GREAT question drbabs.

Right now, I'm reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I like it, ten pages in, so that's a good sign. ;)

One of my all-time favorite books is The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall. Our book club loved this one. And his other book The Lonely Polygamist is awesome, too. Both are hilariously funny and heart-achingly sad at the same time.

I loved all the Charlie Huston books - mostly pulp noir genre (lots of violence, death, mystery, and all-round bad-assery.)

And I also love all the books by Joe Hill (Stephen King's son). Very dark horror/thrillers.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

The Hunger Games has been recomended to me but isnt it a adolescent book?

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 4 years ago

yes, it's one of those young adult books that straddle the line. My 20-something nieces loved the whole series. Movie is coming out soon.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

If you want funny, read This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. And a wonderful young people book that's really great and moving is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (Although I've sworn off books about the Holocaust after reading Sarah's Key.)

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

The daughter is hooked on The Hunger Games books. The last time she was as hooked on a series that she recommended to me was the Twilight books. Within 2 weeks, I'd read them all. You may now know more about me than you really wanted to know.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 4 years ago

For a book with such a depressing premise, i thought This is Where I Leave you was hysterical, too. And I am totally with you on Sarah's Key. Kind of wish I'd skipped it. Am interested in Nathan Englander's new collection of stories though

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 4 years ago

my latest books, Palace of Illusions by CHitra Banerjee Divakaruni.. (mythological chik litt) & Jaya - an illustrated re telling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Such interesting suggestions, Panfusine. Thanks!

51d6debe 8184 4f26 9614 c25e2aa571c3  p3200173
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

On my night stand right now; QUITE ENOUGH OF CALVIN TRILLIN, ABSOLUTE MONARCHS by John Julius Norwich (I read a lot of history). Waiting in the wings; THE ART OF FIELDING by Chad Harbach and Alan Furst's SPIES OF THE BALKANS. It's about time I reread Mark Kurlansky's COD. For book group reading I'd recommend THEN WE CAME TO THE END by Joshua Ferris. It was one of the New York Times "Best Ten Books of the Year" in 2007. Disclaimer, the author is a friend of mine.

51d6debe 8184 4f26 9614 c25e2aa571c3  p3200173
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

Another thought in the history category; CLEOPATRA by Stacy Schiff. Beautifully written.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Thanks, pierino. I don't usually choose historical books--not my favorite--but I'll check them out. I've wanted to read Then We Came to the End.

1d0d675a 5598 44a5 865e 32730d2a1273  186003 1004761561 1198459 n
added over 4 years ago

I really liked "Then We Came to The End" (even if he is a friend of yours ; )

51d6debe 8184 4f26 9614 c25e2aa571c3  p3200173
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

If you decide to read THEN WE CAME TO THE END you have to promise not read the final sentence until you actually get to the end. It's what makes the book work so well. Josh is absolutely one of America's finest young writers, and he never writes the same thing twice.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

I'd like to read my way through your night stand, pierino.

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added over 4 years ago

Ohh! Right now I am only reading my social work license books, sob sob...I have to get two certifications.one LSW and another CSVA - Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate. no more fun..But, I love books based on inspiration and thrillers...my recent last read "Joy VS Success" by Geet Sethi, famous billiards player is really a nice one..

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I bet you can't wait till you can start reading for fun again.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 4 years ago

Also liked the Art of Fielding.

2b00435b fe24 44bb afe2 ad3364f28f79  1390710 10151917400148928 1193325941 n 1
added over 4 years ago

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie is in my top three of all time. It has changed my life in so many ways. Highest recommendation.

C4b35b3e a030 4605 bcae f5a7ba4644f4  sausage2
fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

added over 4 years ago

I hear you Devangi! I'm mostly stuck reading insanely dense academic papers, but a few books that I just love (they aren't new, but they're amazing books) and are great for a bookgroup are: English Passengers by Matthew Kneale (I cannot say enough good things about this book); Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (so sad, but so beautiful); Out Stealing Horses by Per Peterson; The Elegance of The Hedgehog. My mother (who has been in the same bookgroup since before I was born!) recently told me they read Child 44 which was amazing but super intense and they also loved City of Thieves. And, it's a little fluffy, but if you haven't read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, you should. It's sweet.
p.s. I didn't like Moo at all either, and I even am an academic!

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 4 years ago

Both my teenaged daughter and I loved the Elegance of the Hedgehog. One of my alltime favorites. The movie was actually very well done too.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I know a lot of people have liked it. Such a strange title!

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Moo, no I. I am so not a Jane Smiley fan.

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added over 4 years ago

I've been reading the Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, by George R.R. Martin. It has me making pine nut oatcakes (http://beyondcelery.blogspot...), shepherd's pie, and roasted potatoes and root veggies. I'm now considering tackling lamb.

Other books I love: Ender's Game, The Foundation series, Cloudstreet (by Tim Winton).

Be careful if you read the Rum Diaries. I assume I'm not the only highly-suggestible reader/eater out there!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Interesting--I've never heard of these--thanks for the suggestions.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added over 4 years ago

THE WHISTLING SEASON by Ivan Doig, outstanding. This is one of Diog's best - and I am a fan of his.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Thanks!

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

This is such an interesting question. I read and write, all day every day, often after dinner for an hour or two, for my client work (and none of that reading is from books -- all emails and legal documents), so when I have free time I'm usually outside hiking/backpacking/bicycling, etc. or in the kitchen. My bedtime reading often involves cooking one way or the other! I like non-fiction books relating to the history of food, and some memoirs, e.g., anything Ruth Reichl has written, including her compilations of essays from "Gourmet", "Toast" by Nigel Slater, "Blood, Bones and Butter" by Gabrielle Hamilton etc. Bill Bryson's recent "At Home" was interesting and a fun read. I've read everything he's written and generally have enjoyed it, though it can be rather common and vulgar at times. I write a lot of letters (yes, letters, not emails) to keep up with all the friends I've made throughout my life who don't live nearby. That takes a lot of time, so between that, and cooking dinner every night, and getting exercise outdoors before dinner, I actually don't read that much any more. But I'm now inspired to search out some of the community's recommendations. ;o)

164ae6cf b233 45ae a461 8d7543fae705  melissa mitchell
added over 4 years ago

I just finished Blood, Bones and Butter and I really liked it. I second the recommendation.

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added over 4 years ago

I really enjoyed Blood, Bones and Butter--she's a very honest writer, and her family life was fascinating!
Also liked Bryson's At Home.

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added over 4 years ago

A few recent nonfiction picks: Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia and Peter Englund's The Beauty and the Sorrow. The first is self-explanatory and the second is a history of World War I as told through the diaries, letters, and memoirs of the participants. It is riveting. And why not a look backward to the fiction of Edith Wharton: The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. Finally, if you read Jane Eyre as a teenager---read it again. You'll either love it for the first time (if you suffered back then) or love it more.

E0cc9d5c 6544 49fb b0e4 5c150d9ac0f7  imag0055
added over 4 years ago

A book that will get the book club talking: Russell Banks's Lost Memory of Skin. And two fine books about being an adolescent: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray and (my favorite) Paul Mitchell's Blackswan Green.

164ae6cf b233 45ae a461 8d7543fae705  melissa mitchell
added over 4 years ago

Class Warfare by Stephen Brill was interesting and it might be a good book club book because education reform always seems to generate discussion and varied opinions (full disclosure: I work in education reform/policy so I might be biased but it wasn't super wonky and it made some of the new policies, initiatives, etc. really accessible to any reader). Paul Auster's books tend to be good discussion generators, at least in my view. And now I want to read other books people recommended!

Deac5e85 ab6c 4739 826e c35688e6f154  l1020855
added over 4 years ago

I stay on a diet of largely European writers fiction. When I start I cannot seem to get enough of an author I like, and read until I've exhausted volumes that have been translated into English. My favorites lately, seem to be Italian- Donna Leon or Andrea Cammilierri ( a Ruth Reichl recomendation) ; Scottish- Ian Rankin; and Norwegian-Jo Nesbo and Steig Larrson . When I'm in a mood for classic foodie writing, MFK Fisher's Art of Eating is always good to pick up for an essay to two. Not in a Foodie mood, but needing short essay reading material, pick up Paris Review of Books essays ...Amazon and UPS are my best friends...ch

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Donna Leon, yes! I read all the Brunetti books in order on my Kindle, and am chewing my fingernails waiting for the next. Last summer when the daughter and I were in Italy, we wanted to go to Venice (naturally), but I had to tell her that the only way we could afford it would be if Brunetti finally gently informed Paola of our, uh, relationship, and invited us to stay with them. Which surely would have cost less than €450 per night. I cannot imagine that he would have permitted us to stay in a place whose comments made reference to the rodent droppings in the shower.

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added over 4 years ago

I too tend to read straight through an author I like --Donna Leon (mysteries set in Venice) because her characters are charming and they eat well, but right now I'm starting Edward St. Abyn and Elizabeth Taylor (fiction). I just finished The Science of Yoga because everyone was talking about it. The Hemingses of Monticello is a fascinating look into history and has been among my favorite non-fiction.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Did you like The Science of Yoga?

5590ce29 aa2e 417c 94ba 2fbc61134171  174060 100000008404888 3554258 n
added over 4 years ago

The Science of Yoga has a lot of the history of yoga, the history of the research, and some about best practice. No more shoulder stand without a blanket!

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added over 4 years ago

I loved "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, "The Paris Wife and I am currently reading "The Cat's Table" by Michael Ondaatje (if you liked "The English Patient, this is even better!).

5590ce29 aa2e 417c 94ba 2fbc61134171  174060 100000008404888 3554258 n
added over 4 years ago

Have to add my favorite new children's books: "A Ball For Daisy" and "Me...Jane."

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Dymnyno - Did you enjoy The Paris Wife?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Loved reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern! For the food lover, there are elaborate magical dinner parties and magical circus food. Was contemplating hosting a Night Circus themed dinner party.

Also, another engrossing read was The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach. I'm not a baseball fan, but I loved this book.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

I enjoy historical novels. I 'm finishing up Catherine the Great by Robert Massie and Ken Follets World Without Ends was - ahmazing!!!!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Can't wait to read Catherine the Great. Nicholas and Alexandra by same author was fabulous and I highly recommend.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Hi Tarragon, I ust recieved via Amazon Nicholas & Alexandra. I have been catching up readings of classics, To Kill A Mockingbird, War & Peace (amazing!), Womwen of Brewster Street. Thanks for the reco and keep them coming, priate email or through this thread. I read more than watching tv. : )

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 4 years ago

hmmmm....feeling slightly self conscious that our book club would spend very little time talking about the book, and the rest of the time just hanging out, eating and drinking. ;)

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 4 years ago

the one I was in was just like that!

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 4 years ago

Well, but you can't think if you are hungry or thirsty, so that makes perfect sense to me. ;)

69d2403d 88f4 4b72 b0b9 84a21f4d0561  img 1445
added over 4 years ago

What a fun question! And it's so nice to pick up some suggestions from people's answers. Two of my favorite authors are Margaret Atwood and Jose Saramago... I would highly recommend any of their works. Atwood's Oryx and Crake, while not a 'foodie novel', has some interesting thoughts on the future of food (genetic modification and things like that). I also love John Irving's works. I have also greatly enjoyed Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. A fun read is Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End, both of which center around the building of a cathedral in 12th and 13th century England. Follett's newest work, Fall of Giants, which centers around WW1, was also fun. I most recently enjoyed Ann Pratchett's State of Wonder, which was on a recommended reading list from NPR.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added over 4 years ago

Love all of Ann Pratchett's work!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

The Good Soldier (Ford Madox Ford) is one of my all-time favorites. A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole) is a hilarious book. The Rule of Four (Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason) and The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon) are both engrossing, smart mystery/thriller stories. And two books I read recently and haven't been able to stop thinking about are Death and the Penguin (Andrey Kurkov) and Hygiene and the Assassin (Amelie Nothomb).

5590ce29 aa2e 417c 94ba 2fbc61134171  174060 100000008404888 3554258 n
added over 4 years ago

If you liked Confederacy of Dunces try Cooking With Fernet Branca--also very funny.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 4 years ago

Two more great books...Read them back-to-back: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett.

1d0d675a 5598 44a5 865e 32730d2a1273  186003 1004761561 1198459 n
added over 4 years ago

Wow! Great pair of books to read consecutively. The story of the friendship between Lucy Grealy and Ann Patchett is incredible reading.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Oh, mrslarkin and dymnyno, I always knew we'd be friends. I read Lucy Grealy's book when it was first published-- 1994? and Ann Patchett's book about her when it was published as well. They are two of my favorites. I must reread them. Thanks for the suggestions.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Yes, anything by Ann Patchett. Run, The Magician's Wife, Bel Canto are probably my favorites. Bel Canto would be wonderful for a book group because it is based on a true event.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I've read all of Ann Patchett's books. Love her.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. I've read many of them already, but some I haven't heard of and will explore with my group. Thanks so much!

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added over 4 years ago

This is a terrific question, drbabs! I am playing catch-up but one of my favorites is The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. It is real page turner, and true, about the making 1893 Chicago World's Fair and its primary architect and the tale of a serial killer, one H.H. Holmes who poses as a physician. Chilling, fascinating. A wonderful compendium of letters is As Always, Julia which is the correspondence between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, as Julia was trying to find a publisher for Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Very fun. Just finished Slow Love by Dominique Browning, memoir by the last editor of House and Garden with lots of funny food stuff, bits of sharp wisdom and insight. I enjoyed it, though there are moments when it is a bit too self-involved for me.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Thanks, calendargirl! We read Erik Larson's book about the Galveston hurricane. He's a great writer. Thanks for the other suggestions.

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added over 4 years ago

If you enjoyed Isaac's Storm you will be mesmerized by The Devil in the White City. He has a brand new one, can't remember title. But I just re-read your original query and it occurred to me that there might be ways to bring your book group out of the doldrums in addition to new books. I remember when I lived in Boston and my book group was in a blue funk... we re-vitalized things by taking a month off, inviting a new member, changing the order of things a bit... just enough tweaking to shake us out of our routine and get our groove back. Good luck!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Great suggestion. We did just invite a new member, and after finding out that we all agreed that Moo would make a better doorstop than book, we decided to take this month off. Most of them read Devil in White City. I rejected his new book because it's about Nazi Germany which I've had quite enough of. (we're all Jewish and have read tons of books about the Holocaust.)

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added over 4 years ago

Oh right, now I remember about Larson's newest. Also, I hope this comment shows up in the right place... I realize I don't know how to add a reply when the little reply arrow doesn't appear at the end of the comment I want to respond to.

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luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

The Madonnas of Leningrad is one of the best novels I've read in years, have given multiple copies because it's a novel that can expand me as a person (also desperately want to visit Leningrad, but that's another story). Really enjoyed Townie by Andre Dubus III but it is dense and dark. Let's Take the Long Way Home is a great book about friendship and love of dogs. Rereading a biography of Elizabeth David, Writing at the Kitchen Table, very interesting, mild tarnishing of hero.

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added over 4 years ago

WRITING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE has been on my list for a while, luvcookbooks! Love what you said; i guess mildly tarnished heroes are the best kind. Now I will move this book up to the top.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

We read Madonnas and loved it, and I also loved Let's Take the Long Way Home.

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added over 4 years ago

my choice is Season of Second Chances, Diane Meirer, wow, loved it, just loved it, set in Western Mass college town, she's a professor! what great dialogue and the story...check it out, also Maine about a extended family visiting in Cape Neddick, and well, read it!

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added over 4 years ago

The Alexandria Quartet is one of my favorite old school time/space continuum collection of 4 novels - set in Alexandria, Egypt. Lawrence Durrell. Also, early short story collections by Ellen Gilchrist.

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added over 4 years ago

The Alexandria Quartet is one of my favorite old school time/space continuum collection of 4 novels - set in Alexandria, Egypt. Lawrence Durrell. Also, early short story collections by Ellen Gilchrist.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Add your answer here

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added over 4 years ago

If they haven't come up yet -- the novels of Amy Tan, especially The Bonesetter's Daughter. Other Chinese women authors, drawing on the contrast between the life in China, the family dynamics -- ancestors of the present generation and the present, sometimes with back and forth parallel stories.
At the blog www.theperfectpantry, there is a list of food related books that are not cookbooks, worth checking -- look under the header for Bookworms in the Pantry. (I submitted a list of food-centric mysteries.) My latest in that category -- The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Jennifer 8. Lee), Peppers (Amal Naj), Daughter of Heaven (Leslie Li, another Chinese family in America).

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added over 4 years ago

I also loved "The Book Thief"...one of my favorite children's books to read aloud (for ages 8-80) is Jill Paton Walsh's "The Green Book"...it says so much about our love for books in only 70 pages!

Right now we are reading "One Thousand White Women" for book club...personally, I'm on a "wife" kick...just finished "An American Wife" and now reading "The Paris Wife"

If you have an adolescent daughter...mine lLOVED the Libba Bray series...A Great and Terrible Beauty"

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

We read and liked 1000 White Women, and I loved An American Wife.

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added over 4 years ago

Wonderful story, especially for those who love books for the things that they are as well as the story they tell:
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield.

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added over 4 years ago

Wonder When You'll Miss Me by Amanda Davis. So, so beautiful.

I recently started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Way old-school, but a lovely read so far.

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added about 4 years ago

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of my favorites growing up! I must have read it twenty times. I gave it to my daughter a few years back (she's now almost 17) and she loved it too.

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added about 4 years ago

@healthierkitchen Me too! I still make sure there's always coffee available in my kitchen for anyone anytime. I love the idea that everyone needs a luxury, no matter how poor they are.

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added about 4 years ago

Me too! I read it in elementary school and loved it.

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added about 4 years ago

currently reading the paris wife. but prior were 2 books i couldnt put down...The Help and Water for Elephants. i read both of those in a weekend. my husband was getting frustrated with me because i would lock myself in a room and read from sun up to sun down but i couldn't physically stop....i had to know what would happen next!

after reading all the reccomendations, i'm adding Blood, Bones and Butter to the list. just requested it from the library!

my problem is, i find an author i like then i read all the books they have written. for about 6 months all i could read were Jodi Picoult.

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Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Great great question! Some of my all time favorite books are in no particular order.... Forever by Pete Hamill (he also wrote Snow in August which is similarly fantastic), Kent Haruf wrote two books, Plainsong and Eventide which are so sparce and beautiful in their language that you want to cry at the prose. Davita's Harp by Chiam Potak. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. And pretty much anything by Mark Helprin: Refiner's Fire, Memoirs from an Ant Proof Case, Soldier of the Great War - he is one seriously talented author! And if you're willing to put in the effort of slogging through the first 120 pages, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is great. And (can you tell I like to read?) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is truely lovely even though it's not my normal genre being sci-fi. And well we're on the sci-fi bend, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LaGuin (spelling?) is great!

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added about 4 years ago

one of my favorite authors is ann patchett. her latest book, state of wonder, is staggeringly good.
it's the kind of book that when you finish reading it you need to take a break from reading for a while because you just need to live with it for a while. i've already re- read it since it came out last summer.

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em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

Have y'all read Fraser's Penguins and/or Half the Sky? Both are super-compelling. I really enjoyed Waiting for Bones by Donna Cousins- a new release, it's such a fun read. I tore through it. Eating Animals is very(!) thought-provoking, and I've not found it heavy-handed at all so far.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

I'm actually reading Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. Because there were never enough Jane Austen novels.

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added about 4 years ago

So true! Though as a lifelong P&P fan, I'm afraid I didn't really enjoy Death Comes to Pemberley because I didn't like how the author treated Elizabeth. How are you liking it so far? I hope you'll let me know what you think!

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

I'm liking, but not loving it. I see what you mean about the author's treatment of Elizabeth. What I love about Jane Austen is her language. Nobody can imitate her gift of understatement. Also, there's more humor in her works, whereas this is a bit dry as a bone.

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added about 4 years ago

Some suggestions: A Visit From the Goon Squad, In the Garden of Beasts, Let the Great World Spin, A History of Love, Kalooki Nights. In the food lit category, I really want to read Talking WIth My Mouth Full by Gail Simmons. I think I'd really like her, and I find her career trajectory very interesting and inspiring in the way of follow your passion advice...

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

Wow I just saw this, ATG, and I have to tell you that Goon Squad and The History of Love are 2 of my favorite books EVER.

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added about 4 years ago

Great books! The other two are ones I've read more recently. They are not on the same level as Goon Squad and History of Love, but they were definitely good reads. And I love Howard Jacobson (Kalooki NIghts). I had the chance to meet him. His humor is very dry and definitely not for everyone, but I think both he and his books are brilliant.

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added about 4 years ago

I loved Let the Great World Spin! Just finished Cutting for Stone. One of those kind of books you just can't put down!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

I liked Let the Great World Spin, and I never finished Cutting for Stone even though I love Abraham Verghese's non-fiction books. I had so much trouble getting into it. I guess I'm going to have to try it again.

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added about 4 years ago

A Woman of Independent Means has always been a favorite of mine.

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added about 4 years ago

Another excellent young adult/sy fy/fantasy book is The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Just finished it. Highly recommend.

Now onto Goon Squad and loving it so far.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

I've now read Goon Squad about 4 times. I love that book so much. I've found that reading it again brings so much more of it into focus. It's really rich and well written with lots of surprises.

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aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

A load of my faves are already listed but -

for some magical stuff, Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere, American Gods, and Anansi Boys

I LOVE Barabar Kingsolver, if you haven't read Animal Vegetable Miracle, you should, and The Lacuna is GREAT.

Fun travel journal stuff from Bill Brtson - A Walk In The Woods is laugh-out-loud funny, all of his stuff is fun to read

The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake - enjoyed greatly

Rain Of Gold - great Magical Realism

ANYTHING by Isabelle Allende (except Paula - I didn't like that one)

now I want to hop over to Amazon :-)

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

Abbie, I love Barbara Kingsolver, too, and I think that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a must-read for all of us who care about where and how we get our food.

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aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

oh and Half Of A Yellow Sun!!!

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added about 4 years ago

Just treated myself to a set of 3 books by Herve This.. a treat for both the geek & the cook in me!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 4 years ago

I hope y'all don't mind my revisiting this question, but I just have to share. I've read 2 books that are absolute page turners: 11/22/63 by Stephen King (750 pages and I read it in 3 days) and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. (Brilliant thriller and deconstruction of marriage). Enjoy!

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added almost 4 years ago

Ahhh, culture shock! I think I've read only 10 books on this list. Thank you drbabs for asking a great question. Always waited until I went back to the States to stock up on books but now I can put my iPad to work @ Amazon. Love the internet!

Just read a novel called Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson. It's about congress and our government and how their manipulate it so they don't have to pass legislation-- in this case GUN legislation. Really reminded me of our latest financial ....

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HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

I usually read mysteries in my spare time (like my train ride home from work). Currently loving Michael Lee West's "Gone with a Handsomer Man" and "A Teeny Bit of Trouble". I'm also a fan of Janet Evanovich's Lizzy & Diesel supernatural series about a pastry chef and an ongoing search for biblically-enpowered stones. Then there's Kerry Greenwood's mysteries starring Corinna Chapman, the bread baker.

Not interested in "Fifty Shades of Gray" because I just find the subject matter kind of boring. Sort of like a "been there, read that" kind of thing ;)

Loved The Hunger Games trilogy except for that last book which felt like it was rushed out to publication.

Liked Lisbeth Salander trilogy (Millenium Trilogy?). Worth slogging through some of the writing which can be so dry and aimless at times.