This is the moment you've been waiting for: the announcement of the next four selections of our book club. Drum roll, please!
I adore Stanley Tucci! Ever since watching him in Big Night, I have been a fan of his acting and since seeing his show, Searching For Italy, and following him on Instagram, I have become a fan of his passion for good food and drink. I have been wanting to read Taste: My Life Through Food since it came out this past October and bought both the e-book and the audio book, thus sealing it as my choice for our April/May round of Cook the Books.
From the Publisher:
Named a Notable Book of 2021 by NPR and The Washington Post
From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen.
Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.
Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.
Written with Stanley’s signature wry humor, Taste is for fans of Bill Buford, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ruth Reichl—and anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.
I am excited to read Stanley's memoir with all of you and to see what delicious dishes it (and maybe his two cookbooks and television series) inspire!
Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
Deadline for contributing your post is Tuesday, May 31, 2022
I've settled Anthony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour based on the raves of others, having never read anything of his or even watched him on TV. Totally a Bourdain newbie here :)
From the Publisher:
The only thing "gonzo gastronome" and internationally bestselling author Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling. Inspired by the question, "What would be the perfect meal?," Tony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail, and in the process turns the notion of "perfection" inside out. From California to Cambodia, A Cooks' Tour chronicles the unpredictable adventures of America's boldest and bravest chef.
Fans of Bourdain will find much to love in revisiting this classic culinary and travel memoir.
Claudia, Honey From Rock
Deadline for contributing your post is Sunday, July 31, 2022
This past summer, our local art museum hosted an exhibit of Salvador Dali’s illustrations for a 1969 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I loved these panels of color and surrealistic images. I bought one of the copies of the book in the museum shop. I recently picked it up to read and spent an enjoyable afternoon spiraling down into Wonderland and deciphering Dali’s accompanying illustrations.
Being that it is in the children literature genre, it was a quick read. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it and realized I don’t think I had read it before even though it is a staple of Victorian literature and references to Alice’s adventures can be found everywhere from Walt Disney to Tim Burton.
I was also surprised by the amount of culinary inspiration that I found within this slim volume. Some may be inspired by the “EAT ME” and “DRINK ME” scenes or the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Others may find inspiration in Alice’s mushroom eating wanderings. There actually are scholarly works written on the food and drink depicted in Wonderland if you want to dive deep. I also found this site interesting: Children's Literary Classics: An Alice in Wonderland Menu and Party Plan.
I invite you to revisit this tale from your childhood and become inspired to create a culinary wonderland of your own. Pick whatever edition you want—a classic one or the Dali illustrated one (on the left in the collage above),
Debra, Eliot's Eats
Deadline for contributing your post is Friday, September 30, 2022
To round up the list of selections, for the October / November 2022 edition Simona (briciole) chose the novel Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson (September 2005) Right around the time when we started talking about our next selections, I read an article on The Guardian titled Top 10 cooks in fiction written by Annabel Abbs. Number 10 is Gerald Sampler, protagonist of the novel I chose:
Gerald is a ghostwriter for C-list celebrities who likes inventing recipes. From his Tuscan hilltop he cooks with great gusto, using copious amounts of an Italian digestif called Fernet Branca. The plot is fast-paced but daft, the characters ludicrous but hilarious, and the recipes imaginative but ridiculous. Mussels in chocolate, garlic ice cream, a pie made from cat and kerosene, all doused in Fernet Branca, and described by one reviewer “lingering in the mind like poems”. This farce of a novel is a perfect reminder that no cook should take themselves too seriously.
I'm looking forward to reading how Gerald uses Fernet Branca in the kitchen, since when I was growing up in Italy it was strictly drunk as a digestivo.
Deadline for contributing your post: Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
Remember that membership in our book club is open to anyone and we hope you will join us by reading these selections and creating inspired recipes. For more information about participating, click here.
As always, specific announcement posts can be found at Cook the Books at the beginning of each two-month period and the current selection is always shown on the right side of the homepage.
April / May 2022: Taste by Stanley Tucci (hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen)
June / July 2022: A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain (hosted by Claudia at Honey from Rock)
August / September 2022: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (hosted by Debra at Eliot's Eats)
October / November 2022: Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson (hosted by Simona at briciole)
Happy reading and cooking!
Just got an email today that Taste: My Life Through Food was available for me.
The other books look interesting!
I hope you'll enjoy that book and all the others, Vicki :)
Thanks for posting this Simona! I am so excited to read the books from this round. It's a great mix!
You are welcome, Debra. I agree: it is a great mix :)
Great to hear the upcoming selections and thanks guys for hosting! It turns out that I got an early library copy of Tucci's book and devoured it (sorry for the pun). Will have to refresh. Didn't know about Bourdain's book and look forward to the others too. Here's to great reading and eating.
I am in line to get the Tucci's book at the library as well, Cathy. It looks like it is quite popular :)
I had just finished the Tucci book but would it be ok to join in later? It wouldn’t be a hardship for me to look at that book again, I loved it.
Absolutely, Tina. Looking forward to you joining us for the Tucci edition :)
Thank you, Simona! I’m reading Red Sparrow now so I hope to join you for this book as well.
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