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.

Happy reading!!


  • The Love Goddess’ Cooking School, by Melissa Senate
  • 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!


  • Bread Alone, by Judith Hendricks
  • 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.


  • The Bakers Apprentice, by Judith Hendricks
  • 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.


  • Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen
  • 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.


  • Slim to None, by Jenny Gardiner
  • 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, by Barbara O’neal
  • 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.

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    33 Responses to Foodie Fiction Reading List

    1. Oh!!! I’m so excited to get these from the library. I’ve been compiling my favorite foodie movies and non-fiction books for a post. I’m realizing I have a need to lose myself in fiction though. We should start a foodie book club!

    2. Karista says:

      Kelley, I absolutely loved The Sugar Queen! Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors. 🙂 An Author who lives here in Seattle, Erica Bauermeister, wrote another favorite foodie fiction of mine “The School of Essential Ingredients” A delicious read! Thanks for the fun post!

    3. Stephanie says:

      I read quite often, but haven’t read these before. Thanks for the recommendations!

    4. Aggie says:

      Ahhh, love this post. I am anxious to read all day! I hope my kids let me this summer 😉

      I love foodie books! so glad you posted these because I never really know of any…or can’t remember! Can’t wait to check these out.

      Hope you are well girl! Miss ya!

    5. Jani LeBaron says:

      I love your blog! I was telling my daughter-in-law, Marie, from makeandtakes about finding your cool blog and she said you both went to school together! I’m really new to the blogosphere… if that’s even what you call it. I am excited to be going to Evo ’12 this year. I’m hoping to learn a lot! I will be reading these books. Thx for the post!

      • Kelley says:

        You’re so welcome! Yes, Marie and I went to high school together. Thanks for the sweet comments. Come say hi at Evo as I’ll be there too!!

    6. Maria says:

      I loved How To Bake a Perfect Life. Great list! I hope I can find time to read again…maybe when Caleb is 18:)

    7. Annalise says:

      Noting these books for sure, now that I’m stuck on the couch for half of my day I’ve become a reading machine. Thanks for the list!

    8. What a great bunch of foodie book selections, Kelley! These all sound fabulous. I’ll check them out more. I really enjoyed “The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn, too.

    9. I wish I would have gotten this list from you before my trip!! I would love to read all of these. Maybe I could borrow a couple from you over the summer??!

    10. i love this list! I am always looking for a good foodie fiction and I’ve been laying low the past few weeks. Which do you recommend first? I am getting one of these asap!

    11. Deborah says:

      I love this list – I haven’t heard of most of these, and they are going on my list! I just finished reading a book by Sarah Addison Allen, and it talked about cake a lot. I have been craving cake now since I finished it a few days ago!

    12. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am by this post. Light summertime reads are something I look forward to every year. Hopefully I can make my way through all of these!

    13. Such a great list for summer reading. Now I just need to sit still long enough to read some of these!

    14. carrian says:

      I noticed someone else said this, but I also liked the School of Essential ingredients. Cute, little, and easy read. I just finished Unbroken, so I am ready for a new book. Thanks for all of the ideas!

    15. Kristin says:

      I am IN LOVE with this post! I love to read and have been reading some culinary mysteries (On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle and Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke)…now on to some of the ones you’ve listed! I can’t wait! And I think someone should start a foodie book club for sure! We could all make recipes to go along with the book!

    16. Irene Blanck says:

      Thanks for this list. I’m always looking for food fiction. I too love anything by Judith Hendricks. I recently found another author just as good – Meredith Mileti who wrote Aftertaste. well worth a read.

    17. Alison says:

      Great post! I just finished the “The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs” by Dana Bate and loved it.

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