Isn't it fascinating to discover what one reader gets out of a book when another misses it totally? I've read a number of the same books as author Cara Nicoletti has, but I never concentrated on the food in the books. She's a butcher, a former pastry chef, and the author of the literary recipe blog, Yummy Books. And, so many of her memories of books involve food as evidenced in her book, Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books.
Any reader will appreciate the preface of Nicoletti's book. She connects food and books, acknowledging a "profound connection between eating and reading". She says, "I fell in love with cooking through reading, and I learned quickly that being in the kitchen offered me the kind of peace that settling in with a good book did." Nicoletti connected with the characters in books through the food. And, now she has the opportunity to do that for readers, presenting recipes for the memorable food in her favorite books.
The author divides the book into three sections, books of Childhood, Adolescence and College Years, and Adult Years. It's the childhood books that brought back the most memories for me. Nicoletti introduces breakfast sausage with Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. There's Double Chocolate Walnut Sundae with Nancy Drew. And, of course, there's Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Nicoletti tells us the story from each book, the one that inspired the recipe. And, she exposes her own childhood fears, and later her teenage angst as she discusses the books.
From classics to contemporary fiction and mysteries, Cara Nicoletti proves to be a Voracious reader, as well as a passionate cook. While I found her anecdotes about her life and the stories about each literary piece to be fascinating, I skimmed the recipes. And, admittedly, there are some strange ones from books such as Lord of the Flies, some recipes that won't appeal to most readers. But, the subject itself is as attractive as artist Marion Bolognesi's appetizing illustrations in the book.
Cara Nicoletti's Voracious welcomes guests into her life, where she shares her love of books, and her love of food with all of us. It's comfortable, and comfort reading with the combination of eating and reading.
Cara Nicoletti's website is http://yummy-books.com
Voracious by Cara Nicoletti. Little, Brown & Company. 2015. ISBN 9780316242998 (hardcover), 283p.
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