Summer is fast approaching and for me that means lining up my summer reads. I try to read at least one book over the course of a week or two but with my wedding around the corner I’ll be happy to read one book per month! During the summer, especially when I can’t get away, I like to read books that take place in both places around the world and around the dinner table. From cookbooks with detailed narratives to accompany old family recipes to novels about love lost surrounded by fragrant lemon trees in the Adriatic coast – here are some excellent summer reads that should inspire you to travel even if it is just to your kitchen. Here are my top 10 summer reads for wanderlust foodies 2016 edition.
Any fan of Audrey Hepburn will would want this book to adorn their shelves. Compiled by her son Luca Dotti, it is a sort of scrapbook for fans to revel in anecdotes and stories about her time in Holland, Hollywood, Rome and traveling around for UNICEF. Recipes included! Think Boeuf à la Coullière (Givenchy’s favourite dish) to falling in love over Turkish-style Sea Bass. If you have yard I’d make an evening of this book with Roman Holiday projecting on an old sheet hung from a tree and a table set with Hepburn’s favourites! One can dream.
Ever wanted to know both the recipe for Kimchi and how the delicious condiment all began in Korea? Want to know how Camembert came to be with the help of a priest? Or the difference between a Bordeaux wine as compared to a Burgundy wine? Stories and recipes are interlaced together creating a fascinating fabric of cultures and the food they are renown for.
Living in the Okanagan Wine Country I would be remiss to not include a book about a vineyard. But this particular novel is also about secrets, love and family converging during the harvest season in Sonoma Valley. Pour yourself a glass or two of wine and enjoy on a patio in the sunshine.
Love found in the chaotic and rowdy city of Naples turns into a 3 month initiation as she explores the city with her new mother-in-law to be. Learning to loosen up and embrace life as only Neapolitans can. This novel sounds like a lot of fun and should be consumed on a beach perhaps with a Campari in hand.
Apricot Kisses is a lighthearted read with a culinary journalist at the helm. After writing a belittling review of a small restaurant in Tuscany’s countryside the elderly owner dies. The magazine is then sued by the deceased owner’s grandson in which case the magazine prompts the writer to go apologize and convince him to drop the case. The grandson agrees but on one condition…she marry him in order to gain ownership of his grandmother’s restaurant – a stipulation in her will. Cute and silly but the definition of an easy summer read.
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A Cape Cod bakery owner has lost everything – recently divorced, her daughter struggles with change and teenagedom, her mother passed away from breast cancer and her grandmother is in a dementia care home. On top of all this she is on the verge of losing her family’s bakery and is deep in debt. But when she discovers that her grandmother has a secret in Paris that could change her life she is desperate to find her way there. Sprinkled with bakery recipes in between every few chapters.
Cocktails with a literary twist, this book features a drink for all your classic favourites or those books forced upon you by your professors and teachers throughout school. From Romeo & Julep, Vermouth the Bell Tolls, Dorian Grey Goose, and a Rum of One’s Own – a cocktail menu featuring 65 drink paired books that should be on your shelf.
A girl with a special ability to taste the feelings of those who make the food she eats. With this gift, or curse, she begins to see the inner feelings of her family – her mother’s depression, father’s aloofness and her brother’s anger. Those who enjoyed Like water For Chocolate are fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.
Told from the perspective of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolklas’ personal chef, Bình, this book covers takes a look at one of literature’s most interesting lesbian couple in Paris during the 1920s.
I wanted to end with something a little different than the usual summer read you’d expect: a bakery, a woman in peril, a family secret and a potential for love…
I like those books and I’ve even recommended them above – they are a fun read. But this book is out of the ordinary because it features main characters we aren’t always used to seeing on the page: three sisters escape Iran on the verge of revolution to find themselves trying to make a home in a small Irish village who’s inhabitants aren’t all that welcoming. But alas, food conquers all prejudices around a kitchen table.