Two of my life’s great loves are books and food. Nothing gives me more joy than to dine alone on exquisite cuisine while I read an entrancing novel. An ultimate pleasure is diving into a great book about food or dining culture.
Here are five of my favorite novels about food, dining, cooking and eating. If you are a book loving foodie, you are sure to enjoy these treats.
1. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
I’ve dutifully read all of Reichl’s memoirs about her life as a food critic. Her storytelling skills do not disappoint in her first published fiction novel, Delicious!. Her protagonist, Billie Breslin, moves to New York to write for a popular food magazine. Regrettably, her job ends when the magazine unexpectedly shuts down. This takes Billie on a new journey that leads the reader on a incredibly fun adventure. Reichl’s literary voice is spot-on, and her food descriptions will make your mouth unbearably water.
2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Harris’s Chocolat is sure to delight dessert fans, though it also appeals to readers that love a great story mixed with magical elements. Vianne Rocher opens a sweets shop directly across from a church and challenges the status quo in the village. This wonderful novel warms the heart and is a perfect read to satisfy your sugary sweet tooth.
3. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
Set in the romance and glamour of Paris, Gourmet Rhapsody offers the charming tale of food critic Pierre Athens. The reader experiences the varying perspectives of Athen’s life and work through Barbery’s unique storytelling. If you were a fan of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, you must read Gourmet Rhapsody.
4. The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel by Richard C. Morais
Morais’s novel begins in India then, when sudden tragedy strikes, moves to the cuisine capital, France. We travel over the course of Hassan Haji’s life as a young boy with a passion for food to a renowned Parisian chef. You can almost smell the rich spices and taste the remarkable gourmet dishes while reading this enduring fable.
5. The Last Chinese Chef: A Novel by Nicole Mones
Maggie McElroy is faced with a difficult challenge when a paternity suit arrives for her late husband. A food writer, Maggie decides to take on an assignment covering a rising Chinese food star while she journeys to China to deal with the suit. This tale of redemption and rediscovery offers not only delicious food bits, though also stands as an uplifting love story.
What are your favorite foodie novels? Also, feel free to share some of your most loved recipes! (Our tummies will thank you!)
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