• The cover of the book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    Oscar is a sweet New Jersey kid who dreams of finding love but lacks the “cool” factor living with his old world mother and rebel sister. He blames it on the family fukú—a curse that has followed them from San Domingo to the USA. A hilariously tragic and endlessly soulful read that had me craving my abuelita’s pollo guisado. It’s a recipe that every Caribbean man, woman, son and daughter knows by heart…and taste.  

     
  • The cover of the book The Joy Luck Club

    The Joy Luck Club

    In 1949 San Francisco, four resilient Chinese women meet to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and share their great struggles and successes. They name themselves the Joy Luck Club. Forty years later, the women continue their friendship legacy through their daughters. The characters sip and savor their Wonton Soup, as can readers.

     
  • The cover of the book The School of Essential Ingredients

    The School of Essential Ingredients

    Eight students come to Lillian’s once a month to learn the art of cooking soulful dishes; truthfully, each is seeking a recipe for life outside the kitchen. The magical smells and tastes of their creations transform their lives and each other. This being a “foodie” novel, Bauermeister generously provides a bevy of recipes. Claire’s Roasted Crab is my pick. Mm, pass me a bib.

     
  • The cover of the book Shanghai Girls

    Shanghai Girls

    Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are beautiful, modern young women of 1937 Shanghai when their father gambles away the family’s fortune and the sisters are sold as Chinese brides to Los Angeles men. From China to America, they embark upon a journey of body and heart as their sisterly rivalry and devotion are tested. A memorable saga that you can pair with See’s own family recipes from her grandfather’s Chinese-American restaurant, Dragon’s Den. How cool is that?

     
  • The cover of the book Heartburn

    Heartburn

    Nora Ephron’s 1983 novel tells the story of a pregnant cookbook writer reeling after she finds out her husband is having an affair with a mutual friend. Ephron, who used her own life and marriage to Carl Bernstein as inspiration, peppers her bittersweet novel full of recipes—including one for Key Lime Pie that main character Rachel throws in her cheating husband’s face at a dinner party. But my most favorite line? When Ephron says, “Nothing like mashed potatoes when you’re feeling blue.” And there’s nothing like Ephron’s version of this classic dish—fluffy, creamy, heartwarming and satisfying.