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Linda Stevens
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Linda Stevens from Harris County Public Library suggests books that bring readers on a culinary adventure, such as the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl. (Photo: Wonka by Ignacio Palomo Duarte: Flickr Creative Commons)

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

I have always been a foodie, but as I get older I can’t indulge in everything as I used to. Even as a child, I was the one sampling escargot with my father, while my brothers looked on in disgust. I am not a great cook, but I do enjoy trying and then going out to a nice restaurant. So, I can’t really compensate my rampant foodie urges through cookbooks.

Luckily for me, there are authors who manage to describe food in a way that gives you a vicarious gourmet experience. Not just nonfiction books, but fiction as well. Let’s look at the menu and make our selections.


Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran – Three beautiful Iranian sisters arrive in a small Irish town and share the magic of their kitchen. My favorite foods and good neighborly developments – I’m feeling the comfort already.

The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais – Indian food meets French food, all set in a charming fable. Yummy.

Main Course

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael Twitty – Combination of memoir and food history, so I am learning, too.

The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten – Literally eating everything in the world with the author. Will do.


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – Rose Edelstein has been given the gift of being able to taste people’s emotions, which ends up being not as cool as it sounds.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl – The book that launched a thousand candy cravings and also helped young readers develop shame for our gluttony and selfish behavior. Perfect.

Will my dieting strategy end up being effective or will it create a path that leads directly to Trader Joe’s? Only my vacation photos will tell.

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