🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

Summer reading recommendations

Hello! Looking for some summer reading suggestions. Doesn't have to be a cookbook, or even a food-related book—just a good read. Thanks so much.

Books Editor and Stylist at Food52.

asked 5 months ago
24 answers 813 views
Bb305185 6b66 45c6 ac96 6204c9dd8a30  dsc09796
Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's senior staff writer & stylist.

added 5 months ago

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (if only for the experience!)

And, haven't read these, but on my list: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Modern Lovers (duh), When Breath Becomes Air.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

I loved Homegoing!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

How about summer Netflixing, does that count? I am watching Chef's table on Netflix. It really gives you insight in how a chef thinks.

D347253b 88e5 4ba1 ab1b 7b10260231b2  stringio
added 5 months ago

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Orphan Train
The Nest
I'm on vacation and these are some of the books I've read so far.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

Honey From a Weed by Patience Gray
Songbirds, Truffles, and Wolves by Gary Paul Nabhan
Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

5dcfb74e fbb4 4692 aa3f 244583297d17  amanda
added 5 months ago

I just read Sweetbitter. On a food-unrelated note, many of my friends have recommended The Nightingale.

D347253b 88e5 4ba1 ab1b 7b10260231b2  stringio
added 5 months ago

I recently read th Nightingale, I highly recommend it.

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Are you interested in just fiction, or non-fiction too? Just recent books, or older ones as well? If you narrow it a bit, I can probably suggest several.

(Apropos, I think I may be the odd man out in not finding Sweetbitter all that. Didn't hate it, but wasn't wowed either. I found some of it affecting/interesting, some almost insufferable.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

"Toast" by Nigel Slater. LA Son by Roy Choi (but might not be such a great choice as there is a huge temptation to do all or most of the recipes).

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
cv
added 5 months ago

The Tao of Pooh, first chapter. You can read the rest of the book, but it basically covers the same concepts as the first chapter. I've read Tao of Pooh cover-to-cover once, now I can't get past the first chapter because I know it's all the same.

It's like reading Tao Te Ching. Open that book randomly and whatever you read will teach the same basic concept as whatever you read previously in that book and whatever you will read next in that book.

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 5 months ago

Light fun summer "poolside" reading - The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect - rom-com in a book but with a very different (male!) sort of protagonist.

Just plain good reading and writing - well anything by Alice Hoffman but I am currently reading The Marriage Of Opposites, LOVED The Museum Of Extraordinary Things, and if you haven't yet RUN don''t walk to get The Dove Keepers.

Have you read The Son? It's amazing.

The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses, the first is a memoir, the second is a mash up of biography and fiction, both are fantastic.

Cfe06c3a 31ba 4cd7 a0b0 2d1e7eb98d8e  18930218514 6fcf35ff43 b
Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added 5 months ago

I, too, enjoyed The Rosie Project and The Glass Castle. I'm going to have to check out your other picks!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Few titles, but 2 approaches for summer or leisure reading.
More common, and in some ways more relaxing, is to read anything you want, popular, recent, good-trash or really-good.
Probably rarer is to use a chunk of time to read something that you always say you want to read and don't have time for. Just for pleasure. Or to grow in your professional, personal or family life.
For my recent good-trash reading, I am working my way through the books of Steve Berry, who I found when his latest book got great reviews. He writes thrillers based on historical puzzles (e.g. what if rival criminals, thieves and spy services discovered Napoleon's gold treasure, missing for 200 years).
For my I-wish-I-had-more-time project, I'm rereading Anna Karenina, last seen the year after I finished college (not yesterday). An updated version of the classic Garnett translation, and a slew of interesting books - how Russian-language criticism changed after the fall of the Soviets, comparisons to other classic 19C novels, etc.
And here's my third approach - no obligation to finish a book. Life's too short. If it doesn't catch you, give it up and find something you like :)

2525f653 b225 4c8f 9925 212187a6f013  2aea6da
added 5 months ago

I recently read Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter and loved it! Currently reading The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen on a completely different note and it's great so far.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

The Girls by Emma Cline. Great book.

D347253b 88e5 4ba1 ab1b 7b10260231b2  stringio
added 5 months ago

I'm currently reading The Children by Ann Leary. It's really good, makes me want to look up her first book and read that also.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added 5 months ago

The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley is great preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, coming up next year. Don't roll your eyes--the book is the story of a man who chases around Europe buying questionable relics for the collection of a German bishop and king. It is a funny read, but gets to the heart of some of the issues that brought the Reformation to a head.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

Not exactly breezy beach reading but if you like murder mystery meets psychological analysis almost anything by Elizabeth George. I have only read Inspector Lynley books, I think she has a new series now also.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 5 months ago

Mostly I just want to be included in all the incoming answers! I recently read and loved Gods of Gotham (dark but so good!). If you want a lighter read, I'll admit that I really enjoyed the Divergent series. YA fiction is good for some page-turning brain candy. I'm considering re-reading Louisa May Alcott as an adult. And my best summer reading suggestion is browsing the cheap, used selection at your local (brick and mortar!) bookstore. That way, if you get halfway through and want to stop, no guilt - because it was cheaper than a cocktail! Cheers!

34919778 d751 4755 b21f 2f170d3f9dca  fb avatar
added 5 months ago

I recently read The Last Chinese Chef and liked it and I re-read Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. There is a new edition to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Nice things to contemplate while having quiet beach moments.

2c1f067e 402c 46d1 87aa dbbfaefb29d6  stringio
added 5 months ago

All from the YA shelf, but I really loved them all:

Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

Amy & Roger's epic detour, Morgan Matson

How I live now, Meg Rosoff

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

All My Puny Sorrows, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen. Want to read a lot of the books above as well. Hoping to finish Divergent series!

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 5 months ago

Have you read The Secret History, also by Donna Tartt? I liked it much better than The Goldfinch, which I found to be wordy and self indulgent on the author's part (I will use ALL of the words! More than once! Because I can!) I mean it's good but could have been cut back by at least a quarter. Kinda like people on Cooking shows using Everything In The Pantry.

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 5 months ago

Yes, I loved Secret Histories. But I quite liked Goldfinch too, though it wasn't always as riveting a read as SH. The wordiness didn't bother me - reminded me of an epic Dickens novel, e.g., Great Expectations (semi-orphan's tumultuous and highly detailed life story story/colorful or eccentric characters who mold his identity, etc.) But I agree some parts dragged! Speaking of Donna Tartt, The Little Friend is also worthwhile - sort of a Southern Gothic (a la To Kill a Mocking Bird, Eudora Welty, Faulkner, etc.) - stylistically closer to SH than Goldfinch.