Narratives with Recipes!

Enjoy a good book and try a new homemade treat with these novels and biographies that delve into the culinary world!

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan is a heartwarming story of Issy Randall realizing her dream of opening a café. Growing up with her Grandpa Joe, who ran several bakeries, baking was in her blood. So, after being laid off from her job, she decided to turn to what she knew how to do best.

Don’t forget to check out the next book in the series: Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe. Jenny Colgan has many other culinary-themed fiction novels to check out from other series as well, and they are also available to download on hoopla. 

My Life in France by Julia Child is the fascinating autobiography of Julia Child, a tall girl from Pasadena, California who we know as the celebrated French Chef from her PBS cooking show and her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she wrote with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. It is an endearing story about how she met and fell in love with her husband, Paul Child, who worked as a diplomat. They had to travel to France for his work, and with the desire to learn how to cook for her husband and falling in love with the cuisine of France, Julia was inspired to take courses at Cordon Bleu Cooking School. The rest is history.

Julie and Julia became a movie, directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep, based on the books My Life in France and Julie Powell’s memoir, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. It won a Golden Globe Award. Powell’s book chronicles the year of embarking on a project to cook a recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking every day for a year. Frustrated with her job as a secretary, this cooking project and the successful blog she writes about it gives her a whole new direction in life. Check out the ebook on Overdrive or the audiobook on hoopla.

Ann Mah’s impressive travelogue, Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris, details the regional food of France as she travels the country. Stationed in France with her husband, who is a diplomat, Ann Mah researches the traditional food of France, referencing the work of Julia Child. Ann Mah is a writer for The New York Times travel section, a journalist, and a novelist.

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs is 21st in the Tea Shop Mysteries featuring Theodosia Browning, proprietor of Indigo Tea Shop. Prolific writer Laura Childs’ cozy series is set in Charleston, South Carolina. There are likeable regular characters, recipes, and, of course, a mystery to solve. Attending an English-style game bird hunt with her friend Drayton, there is a murder of the host who has been shot and his widow presses Theodosa to help solve the crime despite Theodosia’s detective boyfriend, Pete Riley, wanting her to stear clear of the investigation.

Lavendar Blue Murder can be found as an ebook and audiobook. There are more titles from the series accessible in Overdrive. Check out the full series in NoveList here. The first book in the series is Death by Darjeeling.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke is the 25th book in the popular Hannah Swensen Mystery series, so there are many volumes to enjoy for new fans. This cozy mystery is set in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Hannah Swensen owns a bakery shop, The Cookie Jar, and finds herself solving mysteries on the side. In Coconut Layer Cake Murder, Hannah tries to go on vacation with her mother to California when her sisters’s boyfriend is suddenly a suspect in a murder case of an old high school friend. Hannah also has to move in with her old love interest, Norman Rhodes. Recipes, of course, are included!

You can see the list of the Hannah Swensen Mystery series in NoveList with your library card. The first volume in the series is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. There are titles also available to download by Joanne Fluke from hoopla.

Comfort Food TV

Are you craving a little cinematic culinary comfort? Longing to savour a sumptuous series? The Abbot Public Library has curated a select menu of foodie-approved film and television fare just for our patrons! If you’re in the mood for a side of romance with an at-home dinner date, you may just try Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman or Chocolat (this one starring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, and Judi Dench). Or perhaps you’d like to escape our troubled present and time-travel to a Victorian dining room with Christopher Kimball in Fannie’s Last Supper, a recreation of one of Fannie Farmer’s decadent 12-course meals. We invite you to sample all of these films and more from our library-curated film collection on hoopla2020 APL Comfort Food Cinema

For some tasty kitchen-sink drama, you might also try Acorn TV’s series Delicious or Pie in the Sky; to sample menus from great British country houses of the past, take a look at Lords and Ladles. Just open your RBDigital app and search for the titles!

If your tastes run to food-filled adventure, then tune in to another of the library’s special hoopla collections: 2020 APL Comfort Food TV. Here, you can sink your teeth into some food/travel documentaries like Paul & Nick’s Big American Food Trip or No Passport Required. If tea is, well, your cup of tea, travel round the world to learn all about it with Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea on Acorn TV (again, search the title in your RBDigital app). Or get in the kitchen and get your hands messy with the pros of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country–further selections to be found in the hoopla 2020 APL Comfort Food TV collection. Your culinary quest awaits!

If you’re eager to tickle your tastebuds with these offerings (and much more) but have not yet signed up for hoopla or Acorn TV, please take a look at our FAQ page to get started. Bon appetit!