Friday, October 14, 2011
Table of Contents by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Published November 2010 by Adams Media
Source: the publisher
I like to think that I'm an alert reader, particularly since I began blogging, but I was surprised, when I picked up this book, by how often food appears in books. Perhaps, if you've read Lisa Genova's Still Alice, you'll recall the white chocolate challah pudding that Alice forgot how to make on Christmas Eve. Or maybe the crab and corn chowder that Lily makes in Barbara Delinsky's Not My Daugher or Dinah Kimble's green salad with salmon in Jennifer Haigh's Mrs. Kimble.
For Table of Contents, Gelman and Krupp spoke with fifty authors who have included food in some one in their writings and included recipes for more than 100 dishes found the author's books. This is not, however, just a cookbook. Each of the authors has also speaks about what inspires them, who and what has influenced them, what readers should know about them and answer the questions readers most often ask.
Doesn't that sound like just the thing for someone who loves to read and loves to cook? I read this book in one sitting, something that's rare for me (granted, it's not exactly heavy reading and there's a lot of white space!). I always enjoy learning what inspires authors; it's one of the things I most enjoy when the Omaha Bookworms get the chance to speak with authors. For example, Anita Diamont (The Red Tent) uses modern dance as an incentive to sit down and write, Amy Greene (Bloodroot) draws her inspiration from the Appalachian landscape, and when Garth Stein (The Art of Racing In The Rain) knows that when he starts hearing voices, it means that he's listening to a character that will appear in his next book.
Unlike Four Kitchens which I reviewed earlier this week, most of the recipes in Table of Contents use ingredients that are easy to find, perhaps already in your own kitchen, so this book will find a place in my recipe book collection. I am, in fact, making Jacquelyn Mitchard's Next Day Rice Pudding as I write this review.