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Reading for Recipes


Just in time for the holiday season,these books are a feast for the eyes. Read for Recipes with Caseyville Library! Cook along with these authors and characters and learn how to create new foods and feasts and fully immerse yourself in the worlds of these stories.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate is a magical realism novel that takes place in the turn of the century Mexico and follows the women-led de la Garza family in which the youngest daughter is forbidden to marry by a long-decreed family tradition allotting the youngest daughter to care for the aging family members. Still, Tita falls in love with a man named Pedro, but their love is secret and soon their Pedro becomes entangled in the de la Garza family’s life where Tita’s cooking starts making unusual and unexplainable magic happen. Interspersed throughout are the de la Garza family’s recipes so you can cook alongside the characters. Like Water for Chocolate is a pillar in the magical realism genre and its exaggerated and outlandish will be sure to take you on a wild adventure.


Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

This memoir will transport you to the sunny Tuscan villa where recently divorced Frances moves to Tuscany, buys an old farmhouse, and finds new love. This story is full of descriptions of Italian living, authentic recipes with fresh ingredients, and the labor of love that is Frances’ great renovation project to transform her neglected house into a flourishing summer home. This story reads like a diary so it is about much of Frances’ daily life, including gardening, cooking, and repairs to the property. Frances takes us on a meandering journey full of ups and downs but full of warmth, home cooked meals, and newfound life and love.


Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

It’s 1985 and former housewife, Ninny, has formed a friendship with Evelyn, local resident of the nursing home. Together, they share food and tell stories. Evelyn tells a story that takes us back to 1930’s Alabama where racial tensions are high and women are struggling for rights. In her story are two fierce women, tomboy Idgie and gentle Ruth. Listen in with Ninny and hear all the wild and wonderful tales, friends, and adventures of Idgie and Ruth and how they change the way Ninny sees her own life.


Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran

Pomegranate Soup is a novel brimming with recipes and magical realism. After fleeing Iran, three Iranian sisters, Marjan, Bahar, and Layla Arminpour, move to the small Irish town of Ballinacroagh where they delight the local residents at their Babylon Cafe with their saffron-infused Persian recipes and spices from far-off lands whose town’s local cuisine usually consists of boiled food and beer. Here the Babylon Cafe enchants the town with magical recipes. Readers will be eager to discover the effects of the Arminpour sisters’s bewitching cooking and the cultural juxtaposition of the Irish town and Iranian sisters.


Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

This adventure story takes place in 1819 on the high seas. Renowned chef, Owen Wedgwood find himself captured by the ruthless pirate, Mad Hannah Maboot, who spares his life so long as he cooks the crew elaborate dinners, but Owen has one problem. The ingredients aboard the pirate ship are less than appetizing, but somehow Owen improvises and creates amazing feasts for Mad Hannah. Part love story and part adventure story, Cinnamon and Gunpowder packs in recipes you will surely want to create in your own kitchen as you cook alongside Owen and Mad Hannah’s pirate crew.



If you love to read and cook, consider joining the Clever Cook Club or the Books and Appetizers Book Club as well! Ask your librarians for more reading recommendations! Or Request a Book Bundle, a hand-picked selection of items your librarians think you would like!


You can also visit our online catalog from our website or our SHARE Mobile Library application for access to books from all 500+ libraries in our area!


Need all your books in one place, use our eBook apps by entering your library card number and your PIN (last four of your phone number) and start reading or listening to your next favorite book!

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