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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

When Food And Fiction Combine …. A Tasty Treat Is In Store!

Button for Weekend Cooking memeWeekend Cooking is hosted by Beth F, over at ‘Beth Fish Reads’. It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. When leaving your link, don’t forget to leave a comment for Beth F, we all like to receive comments and share your thoughts.

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I had planned to organise a post for the ‘Weekend Cooking’ meme this week, however, two individual comments from separate bloggers in response to a post I published earlier in the week, presented me with a ready made opportunity to participate without me having to think too long and hard about the subject matter.

The comments which provided the inspiration, came from my ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ post, where we share new words which we have discovered in our reading. None of  my words had any direct connection with anything remotely ‘foodie’, however both commenters used books with food in their titles, to illustrate a word I had introduced and defined.

Both of the books and their respective authors are unknown to me, however both sound like excellent reads and have made welcome additions to my future reading list.

Julia, over at ‘Diary Of A Word Nerd’, recommended..

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY’

by MARY ANN SHAFFER and ANNIE BARROWS

January, 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, Dawsey Adams, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name in a book?
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of Dawsey and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—a book club born as a spur-of-the- moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts an outstanding cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable conversation in letters with the Society’s members, learning about their lives, their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on all of them. Over time, and despite a demanding and dramatic life in London, she finds herself drawn to the self-contained Dawsey Adams, and to the story of Elizabeth, a young woman whose bright spirit and strength live on in the daughter she left behind when she was sent to a concentration camp. Juliet knows she has found the subject of her book, and possibly much more, and sets sail for Guernsey, changing the course of her life forever.

Naida, over at ‘The Bookworm’, recommended..

‘THE RECIPE CLUB’ by ANDREA ISRAEL and NANCY GARFINKEL

Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic— and surprisingly ambitious— struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.

In childhood, “LillyPad” and “Valpal” vow to form an exclusive two-person club. Throughout the decades they write intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets—and recipes, from Lilly’s “Lovelorn Lasagna” to Valerie’s “Forgiveness Tapenade.” Readers can cook along as the girls travel through time facing the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love, and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred.

No matter what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart, Lilly and Val always find their way back together through their Recipe Club…until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.

Now, decades later, while trying to recapture the trust they’ve lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more—only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?

THE RECIPE CLUB is a “novel cookbook,” a deliciously funny, touching story of friendship, loss, and the ties that bind—with more than 80 recipes that keep the plot cooking. Compellingly readable, this heartfelt story celebrates the resilience and power of women’s friendships. It’s a charming pastiche of e-mails, hand-written childhood letters, third-person narration, photographs, illustration, and more than 80 delicious recipes.

If all the recipes are given such fabulous names as ‘Lovelorn Lasagna’ and ‘Forgiveness Tapenade’, then this sounds like the recipe book for me …. I can’t wait to discover what delicious names the desserts have been given!

I am looking forward to sharing the ‘foodie’ connections you have all made this week!


Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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18 comments
  • I’m always happy to recommend good books to fellow booklovers 🙂 I wound up making Swedish Crescent Cookies using a recipe from the Recipe Club book and they were so yummy. One of my favorite quotes from that book was: “The truth is, you need lots of different kinds of friends, Val. My mom has taught me that, too. When I think about it, I realize my friends are like planets, circling around me. Each one is different, but I am always the sun.”
    It’s such a nice story about friendhip, if you do read it one day, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

    I’ve heard great things about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The London 1940’s backdrop sounds intriguing.
    Happy weekend Yvonne 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      Even though I am not really a non fiction fan and would seldom pick up anything like a cookery book through choice, the fact that this one is interspersed with these great letters and communications between friends, is just so intriguing. I found a sight where I could actually look at a couple of pages inside the book and the lovely way in which it is all displayed was the deciding factor for me. I love the quote from the book by the way, it obviously left a good impression on you and that is recommendation enough for me, thanks!!

      I have also heard great things about ‘The Guernsey …. ‘. I have read several excellent fiction books which have used war-time London of the 1940’s as a back-drop for their stories, however I am more intrigued by the Guernsey aspect of the story. Living quite near to the South coast of the UK as we do, it sems so strange to think that German troops actually occupied an area so close to us and what a different set of circumstances may have now existed, if that invading force had only managed the short journey across The English Channel … it doesn’t bear thinking about!!

      Thanks for taking part in the discussion, I always value your time and comments and I hope that you have a good weekend.

  • I can highly recommend the Guernsey Literary Potato Pie book. The author died just before it was published I gather, how sad. But it is a wonderful book and I think you would love it, Yvonne.

    • Hi Cath,

      This book has received so many glowing reviews and commentary, that I can’t understand why I haven’t got a copy on my TBR shelves somewhere, but I have checked thoroughly and I haven’t …. YET!

      It is so sad that Mary Ann Shaffer didn’t get to see the fruits of her labour published, however at least she was able to help her niece Annie Barrows, finish off the book as she wanted.

      If you check out the website there is a picture of Mary Ann and Annie together and the family resemblance is amazing, as is the fact that they have both followed almost identical career paths and Annie is now an established and respected author in her own right.

      I shall definitely be sourcing this book just as soon as possible and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much, that’s enough recommendation for me.

      Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by.

  • TGLPPPS doesn’t have much that’s actually food-related, as I recall, but it is a wonderful book, written completely in letters going back and forth among the characters. The Recipe Club sounds good, too!

    • Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people, your visits will always be welcome and your comments always appreciated.

      I am sorry if you feel that perhaps I have taken a little too much ‘poetic licence’ with my choice of book (Guernsey….) this week, however there is food mentioned in the title, even though I know that said title relates purely to a book club and nothing remotely ‘foodie’.

      ‘The Recipe Club’ really does do what it says on the tin and even me, a confirmed hater of anything to do with cooking, can see the intrigue and uniqueness of a storyline, combining letters between friends, with the exchange of recipes.

      Both books are definitely on my charity shop hunting trips!

    • Hi Diane,

      ‘The Recipe Club’ is certainly a unique and frankly intriguing premise for a book and the authors have set up a great website, with loads of information, which you might want to check out …

      http://www.therecipeclubbook.com/

      As the book is in the nature of a series of letters, the only potential downside is that there are no illustrations to go with the recipes, although most of them aren’t particularly fancy or complicated by the looks of things. Personally, I do prefer pictures, just so I can see how badly wrong I might have gone with the preparation or baking, as I must confess that I am not exactly the world’s best cook!!

      The book has recieved some excellent reviews on the US sites, however it doesn’t seem to have got much traction here in the UK yet.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your weekend is going well.

  • I read the Guernsey book too — you’ll love it! The Recipe Club sounds wonderful too. What fun that Kathy’s meme inspired you for mine. I like when that happens!

    • Hi Beth,

      I like it when memes become something a little more than just single word replies and develop into more of a discussion, which then spins off and expands into a separate conversation thread.

      I couldn’t believe that two separate replies should generate the titles for this weeks ‘foodie’ challenge, even though ‘Guernsey’ isn’t strictly a book about food, it’s purely the title I went for!

      Everyone is recommending ‘Guernsey’, so I am sure that is going to be a winner and although I may never bake any of the recipes from ‘The Recipe Club’, I can still read and enjoy this unique premise for a book.

      Thanks for being such a gracious host and have a good weekend.

  • I have a dedicated (overflowing) bookshelf for my culinary fiction books. I actually have both of these. I really love the epistolary format in them. As you’re reading it almost feels like you’re going through a box of letters that you discovered in a trunk in the attic or in a shoe box in the back of a closet.

    • Hi Janel,

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love’meeting’ new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments appreciated.

      I must admit that I have found myself hooked on seriously trying the genre of epistolary writing, after checking out the sample pages of ‘The Recipe Club’ after it had been recommended to me.

      Likewise, I have not really given serious consideration to the short story, however after checking out your site and the books you have written, this looks like a great place to start and I shall be doing some serious downloading to my Kindle very soon.

      With a title like ‘Must Love Sandwiches’, you may find yourself featured as a new find on ‘Weekend Cooking’ very soon!

      Have a good weekend.

    • Hi Jama,

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments valued and appreciated.

      I was just over at your site, checking out those amazing children’s poetic recipe books, so I can now see just why you would have such a liking for epistolary novels. Unfortunately, the recipes in ‘The Recipe Club’ are not illustrated, so I am guessing that may deter quite a few people, however I just love the ‘feel’ of the whole book and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

      Have a good weekend.

    • Hi Caite,

      I think I must have been living in a bubble somewhere, as I must be about the only person out there who hasn’t read this book and I certainly haven’t come across anyone who has anything negative to say about it.

      I guess this really does need to go to the top of my reading list!

      Thanks for your added endorsement about the book’s merits and have a great weekend.

  • Two great foodie connections. Read by my readers group some time ago and loved by so many bloggers I know whilst I thought The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society very well written it just wasn’t to my taste (no pun intended)

    • Hi Tracy,

      Ha Ha!! Pun not withstanding, you are just about the only slightly adverse comment for ‘The Guernsey ….’ that I have come across, so I shall probably still read this one, just to satisfy myself.

      This is just such a perfect example of why to some extent, book reviewing and certainly the notion that you have to rate a book, is such a subjective process. We can all give our opinions about a book, however, at the end of the day, so much is down to personal preference and taste. What I might enjoy and rate very highly, you might find mediocre and not worth the time spent reading. Neither of us is right or wrong, because each of us is an individual, with our own thoughts, likes and dislikes.

      That is why I always try to give a fairly neutral rating for most of my reviews and try to confine myself to writing a review more about the authors style of writing and the content of the story. My own personal opinion isn’t really worth the paper it is written on, when all’s said and done!

      Thanks for adding an interesting perspective to the discussion and I hope that you are having a good weekend.

Written by Yvonne

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