'Non-food' Food books?!

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I have been a fan of fiction writer Eric Kraft for quite some time. One of his novels, Reservations Recommended, is about an 'undercover' restaurant critic. He fills in the running fiction line with extremely well written restaurant reviews. More prose than criticism. I was wondering if anybody has come accross other similarly contrived works; books not necessarily about food or cooking, but have something to say about food or cooking. If you are interested, Reservations can been 'previewed' here.
 
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I unfortunately can't remember the title right at this moment, but it's about a talented cook who uses his talent for evil. The mystery/suspense novel is set in several places in Europe and there's little recipes and lots of food talk. It reminded me somewhat of MFK Fisher books. The book had a very cool cover -- craft paper-like cover with a cutout in the middle with a still-life peach inside the cutout. Anyone remember this book? It would have been published about 3 years ago I think. I used to own it, but it's been passed on to several people now.
 
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The Debt to Pleasure

Something like that. Pretty strange book. How long did it take you to realize that the protagonist was ... well, in case others read it, I don't want to give it away. Nice recipes, though.

On a similar note (that is, bizarre stories that include a lot about food): The Devil's Larder by Jim Crace. Several of the stories were printed in The New Yorker either early this year or late in 2000, and now the entire book has been published.
 
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I enjoyed the excerpts very much, enough to get the book, on January 3rd...

Thanks for this thread, Jim :cool:
 
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Chardelot de Laclos, Liaisons dangereuses

Everyone knows this masterpiece by the Film , Dangerous Liaisons.

What is not comprised in the Film ( althought I liked this film A LOT) is that in those letters that they were exchanging food played a vital role.
Endless dicussions on how a plate affected passion, mentality or the evil schemes of Marquesse de Marteille.

This book BTW is one of my favorites. Dark but real.


:cool:
 
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Anybody else?!?! C'mon!! There are tons of great works of fiction that some of us would love to know about that have some great eats sprinkled on the pages.
Kimmie, glad to hear I turned you on to Eric Kraft... you'll have to let me know what you think!!
 

isa

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I was just about to post about Debt To Pleasure when I saw your post Suzanne. The author is John Lanchester. Haven't read it yet.

Not food related at all is Jeffrey Archer. His books are always very entertaining. The kind that is hard to put down.


Every book by Simenon on Magret a police detective who likes to eat between solving crimes.
 
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One of the great crime and food novels is the 'Carvahlo' series by Spanish writer Manuel Vazquez Montalban. They have been tranlated into English. Carvahlo is a private detective who spends a lot of time cooking, each dish that he prepares is lovingly described and can be very easily copied. There are also other discussions about the history of certain foods in the middle of conversations. They are excellent books, very entertaining and they also give the reader a very good insight into food and whatever was happening in Spain at the time each novel was written. I would highly recommend them. But I think that they are better books to use to cook than to learn how to murder ;)
 
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Rachel, thanks for the heads-up on Carvahlo. Sounds so much better than the series on Spenser (a PI in Boston, who also likes to cook). Since I love reading murder mysteries almost as much as I love reading about food, I will look for those books.
 
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The best book of the Carvalho series is 'Southern Seas'. I've just seen it on Amazon.com where you can read the reviews and some abstracts. unfortunately i am somewhat illiterate at computers and i can't insert a link where you click here and it takes you there. Sorry:(
 
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Although not a book, it certainly ranks as one of my favorite short stories. Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory. It's a rather sad story and has nothing really to do with cooking. But I swear you'll never think of a fruitcake the same way again. There was a movie made the story that is very true to the text so if you cannot find the printed version, rent the film.
 
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I just remembered the Blanche White series by Barbara Neely. Words cannot begin to describe Blanche. She's a size sixteen African American woman of a woman who is a housekeeper by trade, an excellent cook as well. She has a habit of getting involved in murder mysteries among members of the elite class for whom she works. It's nothing like Agatha Christie at all. Blanche is sassy, smart and strong. Through her character, Barbara Neely includes much commentary on the American social system transecting issues of class, race, gender and power. You get everything in these stories. The last book, Blanche Passes Go, includes a formally written recipe for a Muscat Sabayon sauce. I am eagerly awaiting the next in the series but we don't know when that'll be.
 
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I've been into a few bokks on food nowadays... One of the best was "Tender at the bone" from Ruth Reichl -the second volume that is equally interesting is called "Comfort me with apples". You can find both some recipies and the memoirs of the author.
I can also recommend "Waiting", a non fiction from Debra Ginsberg where she tells about tales from her career as a waitress...
Both authors are very funny and extremely easy to read, while giving many valuable information on food business..
U'll love them..:bounce:
 
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thank you, it a veeerry nice suprise for me to find such a website... lovely, I think I'll join you more often...
I replied to Jim's thread because, actually, I am a fan of non - food food books... ý still have 5 more which I'll be sharing with you soon.
;)
 
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a Good food book is called Stanley Park. I cannot remember hte author and it is Canadian. Its interesting. Its about a chef who has to sell his restaurant becuase he cannot afford it and then decides to get to the bare bones of cooking and finds things in Stanley Park to cook in the kitchen...suck as park animals heheh.. Very interesting.
 
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This is a food related book, and so far it has been a good read.
I wish Bourdain would publish a new "food" mystery.
 
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Diane Mott Davidson's books about a wacky caterer in Colorado, who always seems to get entangled in a juicy mystery during her catering affairs! the titles are a hoot - Prime Cut, Tough Cookies, The Grilling Season, etc. Recipes included - they're good, workable recipes, too!

Also, Patricia Cornwell's books always have her lead character cooking up something wonderful whenever she gets stressed out.
 
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I look forward to checking out a number of these books at my Library. I'm always looking for a good read.

One book I think deserves mention here is Laura Esquivels "Like Water for Chocolate". A fantastic book, although I read it translated from the original Spanish, I feel it held up very well under the translation. It was made into a movie in the early '90's, that is also worth checking out.
 
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Like Water for Chocolate is an amazing film, as well. It is pure romantic cooking! Definetly a good rental for Valentine's Day!
 
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