Hello friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week so far, and are enjoying some wonderful books.
In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!
If there’s one thing that I love more than books, it is food. Although there has been a dearth of books that explore food as something that is meaningful to culture, identity, and dreams, newer books have blessed us with some delicious and mouth-watering books about food.
Therefore, today’s book recommendation post will be about books about food! I hope you’re ready to be hungry and add books to your to-read pile, because I’m very excited to share these books with you all.
HUNGRY HEARTS EDITED BY CAROLINE RICHMOND AND ELSIE CHAPMAN
Hungry Hearts is probably my favourite anthology of all time. This anthology and its wonderful stories mean so much to me, and I hope this serves as a reminder for you all to read it!
- Contains 13 short stories about food, love, and identity. The stories range in genre from coming-of-age, contemporary, romance, magical realism, thriller, and paranormal. There’s something for everyone!
- This anthology beautifully illustrates how food can be more than just something we eat – it can tether us to who we are, our families, our histories, our culture, and feelings of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’.
- This book will absolutely make you hungry, and you won’t even be mad at the book about it!
WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO
Acevedo’s sophomore young adult book is just as brilliant as her first, The Poet X, and will forever have a special place in my heart because of its heartfelt and meaningful exploration about food.
- Follows Emoni, a Black-Puerto Rican teen who is also a mother, and how she wrestles with motherhood, being young, and daring to follow her dreams into the culinary arts.
- Food is at the center of this book, and I loved it. Emoni has a gift for cooking and food; she can evoke memories through her creative and inventive cooking. I loved that food was explored as something that is so personal and tied to identity, culture, family, and feelings.
- The storytelling is fantastic, the voice was wonderful, and I loved how Emoni grows across the book.
PIE IN THE SKY BY REMY LAI
This is one of my most unexpected favourites of the year. For a middle-grade novel with cute illustrations, I never knew I would come to love Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai with my whole heart.
- Follows Jingwen, an Asian kid who moves to Australia with his little brother and mother, and how he bakes cakes from his late father’s menu to cope with loneliness of moving to a new country.
- Not only does this book explore family relationships (between two brothers), the challenges of immigrating, assimilation, and language barriers, this book also shows how food can connect us to loved ones.
- This story is written mostly in prose, but is also paired with Lai’s wonderful illustrations!
LOVE, SUGAR, MAGIC: A DASH OF TROUBLE BY ANNA MERIANO
If you’re looking for some bruja magic mixed with the charming Latinx witches who bake, then you’re going to love A Dash of Trouble, the first book of Love, Sugar, Magic, by Anna Meriano!
- Follows Leo, a young Mexican girl who discovers that her family are brujas! With her newfound powers, Leo tries her hand and magic at fixing things – only to create chaos that spirals out of control.
- As Leo’s family owns a bakery, there are some delightful descriptions of food – you’ll definitely be craving cookies after reading this!
- Ultimately a wonderful story that is full of heart about the relationships we have with our sisters, mothers, and family, and about trying to do the right thing when things go wrong!
MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM BY RAJANI LAROCCA
I thought this little middle-grade book was so delightful and I had so much fun reading it! LaRocca’s description of food left me feeling hungry and craving – and you’ll feel that way too while reading this book.
- In this A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 11-year old Indian American Mimi has to undo the mayhem caused by her baking before things get out of control.
- The story is centered entirely on baking and food, and I loved it; the antic are light-hearted but high-stakes for Mimi and the mystery was charming.
- The story mixes elements of contemporary and fantasy, and you’ll love all the food descriptions. There are also beautiful illustrations in this book that will make you look forward to reading more.
LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE BY PAUL KRUEGER
If you are looking for a new adult urban fantasy that has monsters, modern-day monster hunters, and cocktails that grant its drinkers power, then you’ll delight in the fun in Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger.
- Follows Bailey Chen, a recent graduate who picks up a bartendering gig through her best friend from high school. Little does she know, he is part of a secret society of bartenders who protect their Chicago city from monsters that roam the night.
- This book is incredibly fun and I had so much fun reading it! It has my sort of humour – dry, deadpan, and perfect for disillusioned new graduates who are contemplating their futures.
- This book may not make you hungry, but it will definitely make you crave a refreshing drink – alcoholic or not – and has some fun magical takes on famous beverages.
I’m always on the look out for more books about food, so if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know in the comments!
- Have you read any of the book above? What did you think of them?
- Do you have any book recommendations to add to this list?
- What is your favourite story about food?