Summertime is approaching quick and hopefully for you (and me!) it includes lazy days laying in the sun and catching up on all the reading you haven’t had time to get to. I love to eat and I love to read so it should be no surprise that I love reading books that have food, recipes and cooking front and center!
I choose a list of books that fall safely under the umbrella that is chick lit. Don’t judge. Sometimes a fluffy light read is just what the doctor ordered. Especially when said book is accompanied by a beach towel and cold cocktail.
I have read all of the books on this list and while this is no means all the foodie fiction that I have devoured, these are a few of my favorites.
If not a tad cliche, this is every bit of what chic lit should be. Girl gets broken heart, girl gets stronger, girl gets over broken heart, girl hopefully falls in love. The said girl, Camilla, is broken hearted when she inherits her grandmothers Cucinotta. Determined to find love and recreate her grandmother’s Italian dishes, Camilla opens a cooking school. With just the right amount of drama, red wine, tantalizing Italian recipes and sweet story line, this is a quick feel good read!
A 30-something year old trophy wife, Wyn, is devastated when her husband leaves her for another woman. Devastated and desperate for a change of scenery, she moves to Seattle where she spends countless hours in a bakery/coffee shop reminiscing about an apprenticeship she’d done in France many years prior. When the bakery offers her a job, she quickly accepts. Working long hours along an eclectic group of women, she soon discovers that making bread possesses an unexpected and wondrous healing power. Nothing stays the same… bread rises, pain fades, and the heart heals.
This is the sequel to Bread Alone. Happy in Seattle with her new career as a baker, Wyn, is in a good place. Or so she thinks. Her sometimes distant boyfriend, Mac, ups and moves to Alaska leaving her, once again, broken hearted. Things start to slowly go wrong at the bakery that she’s now part owner. And again, through baking bread she learns many of life’s lessons. A great follow-up to Bread Alone.
Fully of whimsy, Sugar Queen is the perfect blend of food and magic. Josey Cirrini is almost thirty, pleasantly plump and painfully shy. Living with her overbearing mother, Josey finds serious comfort in paperback novels and a closet full of sugary treats that she eats when no one is looking. Her life is suddenly turned upside down when she finds bad girl, Della Lee, living in her closet. What ensues is what makes this book such a quick and delicious read. I didn’t want it to end.
What a pleasant surprise this book was! I downloaded it for free from Pixel of Ink, a kick-ass website, that offers daily free and bargain priced books to download on your e-reader. A cute book about a Manhattan food critic who essentially eats her way out of a job. Her expanding waistline makes it impossible for her be incognito when she’s dining at restaurants. Her cover is blown and exposed by her newspapers biggest competition. Her editor has no choice but to fire her and he not so subtly suggests she uses the time off to exercise her way back to anonymity. In her time off, Abbey comes to terms with her relationship with food, her husband and a family she didn’t know she had.
How to Bake a Perfect Life is centered around professional baker, Ramona, who’s life is far from perfect. Living in Colorado, Ramona got pregnant at fifteen, raised her daughter on her own, became estranged from her family over a business spat and is now in danger of losing her family home and bakery. If that weren’t enough, her now grown daughter must leave abruptly to go over seas and take care of her military husband who was wounded in the war. Ramona is the only one fit to take care of her daughters step-daughter as the young girl’s own drug addicted mom is in jail. Phew. Don’t worry. All of these problems have a mostly happy ending and they are made tolerable by the delightful smells of baking that permeate these pages.