The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman’s widely praised sixth novel, The Cookbook Collector, might have become a bestselling success, but she's not alone - the author is following a well-worn literary path. Culinary fiction leads the reader from the kitchen into cafes and restaurants and back to the dining table. Heroes and heroines are cooks or chefs or gastronomes and the plot always returns to food sooner or later.

Goodman realises that cookbooks are some one of the most important books in any household. Often passed down from generation to generation, cookbooks become family heirlooms and are treasured. The Cookbook Collector is centered on two sisters - one a Silicon Valley executive and the other a post grad working at an antiquarian bookshop. Their lives intertwine around a collection of rare cookbooks.

AbeBooks has selected 30 examples of fiction that revolve around the kitchen or at least have strong culinary themes. From Joanne Harris’s international bestseller Chocolat to Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen and Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, this list contains detectives, romance, complex relationships and a lot of food.

Fiction in the Kitchen

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Joanne Harris
The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
The Last Chinese Chef
Nicole Mones
Cooking With Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson
Cooking With Fernet Branca
James Hamilton-Paterson
Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain
Bone in the Throat
Anthony Bourdain
Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran
Pomegranate Soup
Marsha Mehran
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Like Water for Chocolate
Laura Esquivel
Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray
Eat Cake
Jeanne Ray
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
The Shape of Water
Andrea Camilleri
Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen
Babette's Feast
Isak Dinesen
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Banana Yoshimoto
Secrets of the Tsil Cafe by Thomas Fox Averill
Secrets of the Tsil Cafe
Thomas Fox Averill
The Food Chain by Geoff Nicholson
The Food Chain
Geoff Nicholson
The Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber
The Crescent
Diana Abu-Jaber
Death Dines Out by Claudia Bishop
Death Dines Out
Claudia Bishop
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
The Book of Salt
Monique Truong
The Devil's Larder by Jim Crace
The Devil's Larder
Jim Crace
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
The Debt to Pleasure
John Lanchester
My Year of Meat by Ruth L. Ozeki
My Year of Meat
Ruth L. Ozeki
Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Catering to Nobody
Diane Mott Davidson
Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite
Poppy Z. Brite
La Cucina by Lily Prior
La Cucina
Lily Prior
How to Cook a Tart by Nina Killham
How to Cook a Tart
Nina Killham
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Mistress of Spices
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
Some Buried Caesar
Rex Stout
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
On What Grounds
Cleo Coyle
The Crepes of Wrath by Tamar Myers
The Crepes of Wrath
Tamar Myers

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