20 December 2010


Reading Challenge the Fourth

A food book is a book which is centered around food and/or drinks.
That could be a cookbook, a food biography or memoir,
a non-fiction book focused around a specific food, wine, chef or restaurant.
Also allowed is a fictional story in which food plays a major role.

I guess I'll really be filling up my Reading Challenge plate for next year. =P

It's all Birdie's fault by the way. Bad bird! ;-)

As I've told her, whenever I read about food in books, I sit up and drool pay attention. They might not be "food books" according to the challenge's definition, but they are a cut above the rest just by being "books with food."

Who doesn't secretly wish for a pint of hot Butterbeer on cold mornings? (Thank you, J.K. Rowling!) Who doesn't agree that even a lifetime supply Turkish Delight isn't worth betraying your siblings for? (Thank you, C.S. Lewis!) Who isn't encouraged by the Eucharistic symbolism matter-of-fact magic of "waybread"? (Thank you, J.R.R. Tolkien!) Who hasn't tried putting honey in an omelet after reading that the Ancient Romans liked their eggs that way? (Thank you, Caroline Lawrence!) . . . Oh, wait, was I the only one who said yes to that last one?

Our hostess, Margot of Joyfully Retired and the separate Foodie's Reading Challenge Blog, has encouraged all participants to remember that this is a throw-down (participation by Bobby Flay optional), instructing us, "Go a bit beyond what you think you can really do."

So I feel like a bit of a wimp when I say I'll be aiming for the least ambitious Nibbler level. =P

Banana Heart Summer
by Merlinda Bobis

UPDATE (July 2011): This Reading Challenge was languishing until I found this unexpected appetiser. There's nothing like the food we learn to love at home, is there? And now I think I'm ready for the more "exotic" Mexican and US cooking that I committed myself to when I signed up for this challenge. (And in case you were wondering . . . Banana Heart Summer embeds the recipes in the prose.)

Like Water for Chocolate
by Laura Esquivel

This is a novel I've been wanting to read for maybe a decade, so now I'm giving myself a proper excuse.

If I remember correctly, it was the first one to include a recipe at the beginning of every chapter (or is it between every chapter?)--or at least the first one which the literary crowd really took notice of.

I hope I'll be lucky enough to find a copy with the above cover. It's like Pablo Picasso meets Jamie Oliver . . . or something like that. Absolutely disturbing, yet absolutely right--like an exotic entree which really hits the spot.

Everything on a Waffle
by Polly Horvath

Here's another book I've been curious about for yonks. So one can eat everything on a waffle, aye? Why not read a book about a challenge for the Challenge?

This one also has recipes at the beginning of every chapter. The young protagonist is quite handy in the kitchen. The cover is so sweet that this one already feels like a dessert.

Anyway, yeah, just two for now. When I'm done with them and find that I'm still hungry (which would be typical), I'll go for a third book . . . and maybe a fourth!

Image Sources: a) Banana Heart Summer by Merlinda Bobis, b) Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, c) Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath


Birdie said...

Birdie's Temptaional Services scores another. *giggle* I really should NOT advertise that, eh?

That cover of Like Water for Chocolate definitely *is* disturbing, but very cool too. Wonder who the artist is...*toddles off to google*

So glad you'll be joining me on this one!

Lesa said...

Very tempting!! I am such a foodie-- but not so much into the challenges. I've been flirting with the idea of trying one for 2011-- maybe the sci-fi/women authors, War&Peace and/or TBR challenge. This foodie one sounds perfect for me and I just happened to buy 2 foodie memoir sort of books off a bargain rack at BooksaMillion last summer-- I'm going to go sign up-- food and whittling away at the TBR mountain-- what could be better!!

Enbrethiliel said...


Birdie: Not even remorseful, I see. ;-)

And to think that I'm embarrassed to read some Romance novels in public. =P I'd flaunt that cover of Like Water for Chocolate! LOL!

Lesa: If you already have two books ready, then you can sign up for the Nibbler level with no pressure! But it's all up to you, of course. =)

I like to think of my own life as one big reading challenge. I only sign up for these when Birdie tempts me or when I see something that will give me an excuse to whittle away at my own TBR mountain. Otherwise, those books might stay there forever. One thing as great as reading a good book is anticipating reading a good book--and I milk my TBR books for all the anticipation I can!

Margot said...

Sorry to be so late in coming by but I wanted to say thanks for joining the Foodie's Reading Challenge. I like your choices in books. Hope you'll have a fun reading year.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks, Margot!

Isabella said...

In case you're looking for another foodie book Releasing Gillian's Wolves is a beautiful story centered around food..even has some recipes. http://bookgardenreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/releasing-gillians-wolves-by-tara.html

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for the recommendation, Isabella. =) The title doesn't make it sound like a "food" read, so I might have missed it altogether if you hadn't pointed it out.