Novels with food themes and food memoirs are beloved subgenres. There are many to choose from but I’m highlighting the ones I have read and enjoyed today.
For books in other age categories check out these lists:
Picture Books with Food Themes
Middle Grade and Young Adult Books with Food Themes
The second annual #FedbyBooks February is coming up! I host this month long celebration on Instagram along with @thebookishcookier to feature the intersection of books and food. Everyone is invited to join by sharing food you’ve paired with a book, food you were inspired to make because of a book, or books you’ve enjoyed that include food themes. To help you find those fun books with food themes I’m typed up the above lists.
–A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: I listened to this as an audiobook at the start of the lockdown this Spring and it was the perfect accompaniment as I was cooking up a storm myself. A man is under extended house arrest at a luxury hotel and finds joy through simple pleasures–including delicious food! You can read my full review and see the inspired dish I made.
–Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen : When I read this I was looking for a light story with a heavy food component and this fit the bill. It was engaging and entertaining, but not without faults. Some aspects of the plot and character felt a little unrealistic, but I loved reading about the behind the scenes food preparation and cooking for the royal family. I would not particularly consider myself a Royal family enthusiast, but I did find that aspect interesting and I’m sure many others will as well!
–Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery series by Josi Kilpack: There are several other culinary mystery series as well, but this is the only one I have personally read. It follows a middle aged woman who loves to cook and becomes an amateur sleuth. The story is interspersed with several recipes of foods the main character is making throughout the book. The order doesn’t make a huge difference for most of the earlier books (although reading book 1 first is important to establishing who the character is), but after book 6 there is a plot arc that stays in play throughout and would be confusing to skip over.
For more ideas of food I made inspired by books, even if the book wasn’t full of food themes check out my Instagram guide.
–Be My Guest by Priya Basil: An intriguing series of musings on food, hospitality, and community. Check out my full review and inspired dish.
–My Life in France by Julia Child: One of the most iconic and well known chefs tells her story in this delightful memoir! Check out my full review.
–Mango and Peppercorns: This memoir explores food, immigration, found family, and the ups and downs of restaurant business.
I will update this post as I read more, so be sure to check back as it gets closer to February!