Episode 16 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

Episode 16 is a raunchy and hilarious discussion of Philip Roth's coming-of-age novel Portnoy's Complaint and one of modern literature's horniest and most neurotic young men, his mommy issues and his great love of "self-servicing," and this delectable apple-banana cake, so give it a listen at: https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Portnoys-Complaint-and-the-Onanistic-Pleasures-of-Cream-Filled-Apple--Banana-Cake-evpb6a https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/Portnoys-Complaint-and-the-Onanistic-Pleasures-of-Cream-Filled-Apple--Banana-Cake-evpb6a

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

This is one of those epic books that feature a cast of thousands, exotic locations that span the globe, stories within stories within stories............and Count Dracula. I mean, how can it possibly get better than that? Being a former Goth girl, I still have a fondness for the darker side of things. Vampires, crucifixes, ghosts, … Continue reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

REPOST: Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya

The news of the death of Rudolfo Anaya hit today. He was not only a world-renowned author, he was also a dear and cherished friend, mentor, and counselor. I was fortunate to have met him 20 years ago and we developed a wonderful friendship. He encouraged my writing, persuaded me to attend graduate school, and … Continue reading REPOST: Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya

REPOST – Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I originally posted this blog in May 2017.  Today marks two years from the date that my idol Anthony Bourdain died. One of my biggest culinary influences, as well as someone who changed my worldview in general, I loved, respected and honored his work and who he was as a human being. I hope you … Continue reading REPOST – Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado

The connection between food and sex is one I looked at in one of my very first blog posts, which you can read here if you're so inclined. That connection is one of the major threads in this book, as well. In 1925 South America, Gabriela is a young woman from a terribly poor background … Continue reading Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado

The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

One of the most verbose and least credible narrators I've come across in recent literature, the hero of The Debt to Pleasure, one Tarquin Winot, is a total and complete food snob. He opens the book with the line "This is not a conventional cookbook,” and no, it most certainly is not. Just as Tarquin … Continue reading The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

So this was a totally bizarre, engrossing and freaky ride of a book. I haven't read anything in quite awhile that literally hooked me from the first sentence and didn't let go. I actually checked it out at the library and got three overdue notices because I wanted to read it slowly and savor it, … Continue reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

I suppose this book would fall under the category "chick-lit" which I generally loathe. However, I read Bridget Jones's Diary years ago and remember laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, and the film version with Renee Zellwegger, was similarly hilarious and heart-felt. It's still as funny today and I found myself snickering … Continue reading Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Cooking With Fernet-Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson

This book is hilariously funny, riffing satirically on those chick-lit memoirs from the early 2000s in which a heroine ends up living abroad, usually Italy or France, renovates a house, learns to cook, falls in love, and finds herself, though not necessarily in that order. The book Under The Tuscan Sun is referenced often, but … Continue reading Cooking With Fernet-Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson

Food in Films – Coco

El Dia de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead in English - is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the spirits of our beloved dead. It is far more complex than that, but who among us can't relate to having lost a loved one, missing them, and wanting to honor their spirits? I know … Continue reading Food in Films – Coco