Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: Table of Contents

Summary: Have you ever wished you could enjoy an Italian dinner with Frances Mayes? Or swap recipes with Jacquelyn Mitchard? It's all possible in this unique cookbook that features recipes drawn from the works of today's bestselling authors, along with intimate insights that help bring their most beloved books to life.The delectable recipes featured in this bibliophile's cookbook include:
  • Lisa See's Won Tons
  • Tom Perrotta's Minestrone Soup
  • Elinor Lipman's Veal Marengo
  • Janice Y. K. Lee's Indonesian Ginger Chicken
  • Sara Gruen's Salmon en CroĆ»te with Hollandaise Sauce
  • Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus's Plum Torte
  • Lisa Genova's White-Chocolate Challah Pudding with Raspberry Sauce
And much, much more! With more than 100 dishes and drinks created by fifty of today's brightest writers, this cookbook will become a feast for your mind--and your soul! -- Adams Media

I am absolutely thrilled with a new book that I've discovered in the past few weeks! It's called TABLE OF CONTENTS: FROM BREAKFAST WITH ANITA DIAMANT TO DESSERT WITH JAMES PATTERSON -- A GENEROUS HELPING OF RECIPES, WRITINGS, AND INSIGHTS FROM TODAY'S BESTSELLING AUTHORS by Judy Gelman & Vicki Levy Krupp. As many of you already know, I love all types of cookbooks. So a cookbook that ties into stories that I have read (or want to read) is just my idea of heaven! I swear this cookbook must have been written with me in mind.

A few years ago, I remember checking out THE BOOK CLUB COOKBOOK, also by Ms. Gelman and Ms. Krupp. I thought it was such a great idea for a book since I am a huge fan of book clubs and well... food. After finishing the book, I immediately went to the authors' website, signed up to receive their e-mail newsletters, and have been enjoying them since. If you aren't already familiar with, you should definitely take a peek. It is a fantastic resource for book club members... and any book lover who is interested in recipes.

After reading THE BOOK CLUB COOKBOOK, I was determined to make our book club meetings more of a "themed" event. I have heard about so many clubs that go all out for each month's meeting -- food, drinks and even costumes; and it sounds like so much fun! Sadly, I found that I rarely made that happen. However, now that I've read TABLE OF CONTENTS (isn't that a great title?), I am even more determined to start tying in the food to the books we read.

To write TABLE OF CONTENTS, the authors selected fifty authors who have written book-club worthy books and asked them for recipes of dishes that pertain to their stories. You will find Minny's Chocolate Pie from THE HELP as well as Adriana Trigiani's Limoncello and Jocelyn Jackson's Rose Mae Lolley's Chess Pie to name just a few. In addition to all of the fantastic recipes, the book also gives readers a list of each author's selected works as well as a little glimpse into the author's life. Each author talks about such things as their inspiration, what readers should know, questions readers frequently ask them, authors who have influenced their writing, and background on the recipe(s). I was pleasantly surprised with these sections, and  I have to be honest when I say that I think I enjoyed these parts of the book as much as the actual recipes.

My group has read many of the books covered in TABLE OF CONTENTS. (Oh how I wish I had this book during the past few years!) So many of the authors and books are extremely popular among today's book clubs. For example, my group has read HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET (Henry's Favorite Hum Bao -- Cantonese Barbeque Pork Buns), Jennifer Haugh's MRS. KIMBLE (Dinah Kimble's Green Salad with Salmon), Lisa See's SHANGHAI GIRLS (Won Tons), and Abraham Verghese's CUTTING FOR STONE (Mom's Beef Fry.) We had great meetings, but we could have had some great food too! I have no doubt that I will be referring to TABLE OF CONTENTS every time we select a new book for potential food ideas.

I absolutely adore TABLE OF CONTENTS and can't recommend it enough for book lovers and foodies! I love the wide range of recipes as well as the inside look into the authors' lives. TABLE OF CONTENTS is definitely a must-have book and a perfect gift for the holidays!

Thanks to the authors for sending me a copy of this book.
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Rebecca Rasmussen said...

This book looks like a lot of fun -- I think it's neat to see what the authors choose to represent them :)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What a fabulous idea! I loved themed bookclub meeting food too!

Beth F said...

I love, love, love cookbooks like this. I have a Barbara Pym one, a Little House on the Prairie one, and a few others. But this is great because it includes so many different authors.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun book.

Amused said...

What a great cookbook idea! I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

Esme said...

This book sounds like the perfect gift for anyone that loves food and reading.

bermudaonion said...

This sounds wonderful! My book club prefers to meet in a restaurant, so we probably wouldn't get much use out of this book, though. :(

Margot said...

What a wonderful idea for book and food lovers. It's going on my Christmas list even if I have to give it to myself.

Jenny Girl said...

What a fantastic idea for a book?! Sounds like delicious fun :)

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

This book is right up my alley!! Can't wait to get my hands on it. We sometimes meet in restaurants too, but we make sure it has the type of food that is mentioned in the book.