Friday, November 22, 2013

To Chew Or Not To Chew - a novel menu of sustenance.

Listed below are books, both fiction and nonfiction, that feature food or the lack of food, or the serving of food.  Sometimes food is celebrated, sometimes denounced and shunned.  There is many a story I have enjoyed just because of the descriptions of the snacks or meals the characters are consuming.  I grew up in Hawaii, and for many years wondered what the delectable sounding Turkish Delight was.  Even though it was the evil witch who was handing this treat out, C.S. Lewis's description sounded so good I wanted some.  Maybe I will make some non-evil Turkish Delight for the holidays.  If you have a favorite story with delicious sounding and hunger inducing food descriptions, please share it in the comments section.  The summaries posted below are from the informative NoveList database found on our website's Electronic Resources page.


Artichoke's Heart, by Suzanne Supplee, 2008. 16 year old Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair--her mother's beauty salon--and feeling out of control. As she slowly loses weight, she realizes that other people's lives are not as perfect as they seem. Realistic fiction. Tone: Feel-good; Sarcastic
Burger Wuss, by M. T. Anderson, 1999. Hoping to lose his loser image, Anthony plans revenge on a bully which results in a war between two competing fast food restaurants, Burger Queen and O'Dermott's. Realistic fiction. Tone: Darkly humorous; High-drama

Close to Famous, by Joan Bauer, 2011.  12-year-old Foster and her mother escape from her mother's abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths and challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends they make there.  Realistic fiction.  Tone: Feel-good

45 Pounds (More or Less), by K.A. Barson, 2013.  "When Ann decides that she is going to lose 45 pounds in time for her aunt's wedding, she discovers that what she looks like is not all that matters."-- Provided by publisher.  Realistic fiction.  Tone: Moving

Gil's Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez, 2005.  Hired by the owner of an all-night diner to eliminate the zombie problem that is costing her customers, werewolf Duke and vampire Earl tackle an even stickier adversary who is out to take over the diner.  Horror fiction. Humorous.

Hope Was Here, by Joan Bauer, 2000. When 16-year-old Hope and her aunt move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor. Realistic fiction. Tone: Funny; Romantic.

Hot Lunch, by Alex Bradley, 2007.  When Molly and Cassie are assigned to work in the kitchen as a punishment for their food fight, they realize that the only way they are going to be released from the duty is to cooperate and learn to cook. Includes some recipes.  Realistic fiction.

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler, 2010. 17-year-old Lisabeth has anorexia, and even turning into Famine--one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse--cannot keep her from feeling fat and worthless. Urban fantasy fiction. Tone: Angst-filled; Darkly humorous.
Keeping the Moon, by Sarah Dessen, 1999.  15-year-old Colie, a former fat girl, spends the summer working as a waitress and staying with her eccentric aunt. Realistic fiction.  Tone: Angst-filled; Reflective; Upbeat.

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, by Kathryn Williams, 2012. Although 16-year-old Sophie has grown up working in her family's Mediterranean restaurant in Washington, D.C., she is not prepared to compete on the new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, when her best friend Alex convinces her to audition. Includes recipes.  Realistic fiction.  Tone: High-drama.

See You at Harry's, by Jo Knowles, 2012.  12-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy 18-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, 14-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and 3-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention. When tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point. Realistic fiction. Tone: Melancholy; Moving.

Small Damages, by Beth Kephart, 2012.  Eighteen-year-old Kenzie of Philadelphia, pregnant by Yale-bound Kevin, is bitter when her mother sends her to Spain to deliver and give her baby away, but discovers a makeshift family with the rancher who takes her in, his cook, and the young man they have raised together. Realistic fiction.  Tone: Reflective.

Taste Test, by Kelly Fiore, 2013. While attending a New Hampshire culinary academy, North Carolina high school student Nora suspects someone of sabotaging the academy's televised cooking competition. Realistic fiction.  Tone: Romantic.

Tantalize, by Cynthia Leitich Smith, 2007. When multiple murders in Austin, Texas, threaten the grand re-opening of her family's vampire-themed restaurant, 17-year-old, orphaned Quincie worries that her best friend-turned-love interest, Keiren, a werewolf-in-training, may be the prime suspect.  Urban Fantasy/Horror fiction.  Tone: Bleak; Funny; Gruesome; Steamy; Suspenseful.

A Trick of the Light, by Lois Metzger, 2013. 15-year-old Mike desperately attempts to take control as his parents separate and his life falls apart.  He befriends an anorexic girl who teaches him how to stop eating while fooling those around him.  Realistic fiction.

Tyranny, by Lesley Fairfield, 2009. In Tyranny, brisk, spare text and illustrations that deal head-on with anorexia propel the reader along on Anna's journey as she falls prey to the eating disorder, personified as her tormentor, Tyranny. The novel starts with a single question: "How did I get here?" The answer lies in the pages that follow, and it's far from simple.  Realistic fiction.  Graphic format. 

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2009.  18-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.  Realistic fiction. Tone: Disturbing; Emotionally intense; Melancholy; Reflective.


Click one of the following subjects to browse the library's online catalog.  
Or come browse the over 200 cookbooks in the Library's collection - Dewey call # 641.
anorexia  baking  bulimia  cookery  food  gluten  
nutrition  paleo diet  vegan  vegetarian  weight loss  
Big Snacks, Little Meals, by Rose Dunnington, 2006.  A handy cookbook presents a delicious array of snacks and mini-meals that are delicious, fun to make, and nutritious--such as baked apples, guacamole, cheese straws, and chicken fingers.

Chew On This : Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food, by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson, 2006.  A behind-the-scenes look at the fast food industry.
Cook Your Way Through the S.A.T. : Recipes Worth a Thousand Words, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, 2011.  A collection of 99 recipes, 100 fun-fact blurbs and 1000 vocabulary words that frequently appear on the SAT and other standardized tests.  

The humor scientist behind Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, takes a tour of the human digestive system, explaining why the stomach doesn't digest itself and whether constipation can kill you.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, by Michael Pollan, 2009. From fast food & big organic to small farms & old-fashioned hunting & gathering, this young readers' adaptation of food-chain exploration encourages one to consider the personal & global health implications of food choices.

The Manga Cookbook, by Chihiro Hattori, 2007.  An illustrated step-by-step guide to preparing simple Japanese dishes using ingredients found in every Western kitchen teaches budding chefs how to make everything they see in their favorite manga--from rice balls to Japanese-style pizza.

Relish, by Lucy Knisley, 2013.  Presents an illustrated memoir of the author's early life, as she describes key episodes and the foods associated with them, and the life lessons she learned from cooking and eating gourmet meals with her parents and friends. Each chapter is book-ended with an illustrated recipe.  Graphic format.

So You Want to be a Chef? : How to Get Started in the World of Culinary Arts, by J.M. Bedell, 2013. Choosing a career in the culinary arts -- Starting a career in the culinary arts -- The chef de cuisine, boss of the kitchen -- The sous chef, second in command -- The chef de partie, the engine of the kitchen -- The pastry chef, the sweet side of cooking -- Cooking for many, cooking for few -- The restaurant business, owner or employer -- Careers in the media -- Food scientists in research and development.

Vegetables Rock! : A Complete Guide for Teenage Vegetarians, by Stephanie Pierson, 1999. A guide to plant-based diets includes sixty vegetarian recipes culled from some of the country's top chefs, including wood-grilled vegetable sandwich on foccacia, Asian corn fritters, mashed potatoes with garlic and rosemary, and chocolate devastation cake.

What the World Eats, photographed by Peter Menzel ; written by Faith D'Aluisio, 2008.  "A photographic collection exploring what the world eats featuring portraits of twenty-five families from twenty-one countries surrounded by a week's worth of food"--Provided by publisher.

You're The Cook : A Guide to Mixing it Up in the Kitchen, by Katie Wilton, 2005. Designed for the inexperienced cook. Focuses on four food products: eggs, cheese, pasta, and berries: where the food product is harvested or made, how to properly store it, its nutritional information, followed by five recipes using that food product. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shredded Book Guessing Contest

Stop by the Young Adult area before December 16, and see if you can guess which Young Adult fiction book I shredded.  No worries, no tears - it was a well used paperback copy that was already in tatters, and ripe for a second life as a contest.  What's the prize?  It's a surprize!  However, if you win, you might, just maybe, be invited to choose from the secret stash of like-new books stored in the YA section of the mysterious Closed Stacks.