Cook from a Book: Recommendation List

Expand your cooking repertoire with a recipe found in a Library book! Each book in this list contains recipes that you can try to make at home.

Explore this recommendation list to inspire your next meal!

The Kitchen Daughter : a Novel by Jael McHenry

Call# Fiction Mchenry

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

The Abundance : a Novel by Amit Majmudar

Call# Fiction Majmudar

Pulled back into the Midwestern world of their Indian immigrant parents when their mother is taken ill, Mala sets about learning everthing she can about her mother's art of Indian cooking, while her brother Ronak tries to sell their experience as a book and a TV documentary, furthering the cultural divide.

The Cherry Cola Book Club by Ashton Lee

Call# Fiction Lee

To save the library and her job, librarian Maura Beth Mayhew starts the Cherry Cola Book Club and soon the booklovers of Cherico, Mississippi gather together to talk about literary classics, romance, and dreams over potluck dinners.

Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah

Call# Mystery Hannah

"After a career on Wall Street, Lindsey is making a different kind of dough in a pretty lakeside village, and the upcoming blueberry festival--including the pie-eating contest her bakery is hosting--is the highlight of the summer. But soon Beacon Harbor runs into a patch of trouble. A local real estate agent gets pranked. A parade float gets pelted with water balloons. It's all laughed off until the stunts start escalating--and looking more like sabotage. As the event turns into a debacle complete with rampaging goats, Lindsey's sweetheart, a former SEAL, starts investigating. But the juicy mystery takes a bitter turn when a man--dressed up as a Viking--is found dead in a boat, and it's no longer mischief but murder..."--

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off by Darci Hannah

Call# Mystery Hannah

Going up against self-appointed Christmas know-it-all Felicity Stewart in the town-wide cookie bake-off, Lindsey Bakewell finds everything falling apart when a judge is found dead covered in crumbs from her signature cookie.

Cherry Scones & Broken Bones : a Very Cherry Mystery by Darci Hannah

Call# Mystery Hannah

"When portrait painter Silvia Lumiere books a room for the summer at the Cherry Orchard Inn, new manager Whitney Bloom thinking her luck has turned--until Silvia has a deadly encounter with one of Whitney's famed cherry scones"--

Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies : a Very Cherry Mystery by Darci Hannah

Call# Mystery Hannah

Cherry enthusiast Whitney Bloom is furiously baking her way into the heart of Chicago with her fabulous cherry pies when she receives a desperate call from her mother. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival has just kicked off at the Cherry Orchard Inn in Door County, Wisconsin, and the manager of the Bloom family orchard had been found dead beneath the cherry blossoms. Worse yet, all evidence points to Whitney’s father as the killer. After she races home to help, things really land in the pits for Whitney when she discovers that Jack MacLaren, her old high school nemesis, is Cherry Cove’s only police officer. Putting her cherry-tastic treats on hold, Whitney matches wits against Jack. But will she have what it takes to clear her father’s name and sift out the real Cherry Cove killer?

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Call# Fiction Ephron

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Call# Fiction Stradal

"When Lars Thorvald's wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine--and a dashing sommelier--he's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter--starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva's journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that's a testament to her spirit and resilience. Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal's startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity" --provided by publisher.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Call# Fiction Flagg

Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a now-classic novel about two women: Evelyn, who’s in the sad slump of middle age, and gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode, who’s telling her life story. Her tale includes two more women—the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering good coffee, southern barbecue, and all kinds of love and laughter—even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present will never be quite the same again.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim

Call# Fiction Lim

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

Taste : My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

Call# 921 Tucci

"From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen"--

The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Call# Fiction Divakaruni

The story of Tilo, a young woman born in another time, in a faraway place, who is trained in the ancient art of spices and ordained as a mistress charged with special powers.  Once fully initiated in a rite of fire, the now immortal Tilo–in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman–travels through time to Oakland, California, where she opens a shop from which she administers spices as curatives to her customers.  An unexpected romance with a handsome stranger eventually forces her to choose between the supernatural life of an immortal and the vicissitudes of modern life.

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise (Chef) Miller

Call# Fiction Miller

When Olivia Rawlings, Boston pastry chef extraordinaire, sets not only her flambé dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to Vermont stay with her best friend, Hannah, who lives in a town famous for Bag Balm and contra dancing. Since her previous post at the exclusive Boston club has probably also gone up in smoke, Olivia gratefully accepts a job at the Sugar Maple Inn, not realizing at first that she's been hired to help the cantankerous owner reclaim the inn's blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest. Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small-town life, and when she meets Martin McCracken, a native who has returned to take care of his ailing father, she begins to understand that she may not be as alone in the world as she once thought. -- adapted from book jacket.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

Call# Fiction Bauermeister

Eight students gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen as Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students' lives.

Sourdough : a Novel by Robin Sloan

Call# Fiction Sloan

"A new novel about an underground food community by the author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"--

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

Call# Fiction Stradal

"A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest"--

Like Water for Chocolate : a Novel in Monthly Installments, With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel

Call# Fiction Esquivel

Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to a tyrannical rancher, must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother.

Recipe for Persuasion : a Novel by Sonali Dev

Call# Fiction Dev

When chef Ashan Raje joins the cast of a hit reality television show to save her restaurant, she finds herself paired with her first love, soccer star and celebrity Rico Silva.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Call# Mystery Manansala

"The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes-one that might just be killer.... When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longganisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block..."--

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Call# CD Popp

Daisy Ellery's pies have a secret ingredient: the magical ability to avenge women done wrong by men. But now she finds herself on the receiving end.

Under the Tuscan Sun : at Home in Italy by Frances Mayes

Call# 945.5 May

Applies a poet’s sensibility, a traveler’s eye, and a cook’s palate to the pleasures of the Tuscan countryside, where the author began restoring an abandoned villa.

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis J. Hall

Call# Fiction Hall

"Rosaline Palmer is just barely holding her life together. Her paycheck might as well be parchment paper, her house is falling apart, and help from her parents is always served with a generous slice of disappointment and judgment. And the cherry on top? Now her daughter's school is charging all sorts of outlandish extra fees for trips that Rosaline can't afford. But where there's a whisk there's a way. . . and Rosaline has just landed a place on the nation's favorite baking show. Winning the prize money could change everything, but more than collapsing trifles stand between Rosaline and sweet, sweet victory. Charming and suave Alain Pope is just the type of person her parents planned for her to marry, and better yet, her fellow contestant is doing his best to sweep her off her feet. Yet while he says and bakes all the right things, it's friendly, down-to-earth electrician Harry Dobson who Rosaline finds as tempting as a midnight ice-cream sundae with salted caramel . . . and just as hard to resist. But as the competition -- and the ovens -- heat up, Rosaline starts to realize the most delicious recipes come about when you don't follow the recipe"--

Voracious : a Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

Call# 641.5 Nic

"As a young bookworm reading in her grandfather's butcher shop, Cara Nicoletti saw how books and food bring people to life. Now a butcher, cook, and talented writer, she serves up stories and recipes inspired by beloved books and the food that gives their characters depth and personality. From the breakfast sausage in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods to chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream from Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, these books and the tasty treats in them put her on the road to happiness. Cooking through the books that changed her life, Nicoletti shares fifty recipes" --