A friend suggested Cara Nicoletti’s Voracious to me. The combination of great books and recipes/meals inspired by those books sounded intriguing but I admit that at first it also sounded a little too much like yet one more “let me pick something to do and blog about that will get me a book deal” books.
Well. I certainly couldn’t have been more wrong. Nicoletti is the granddaughter of a butcher who grew up loving food and books. She worked her way through NYU studying English and working in kitchens in New York City. She has been a baker, pastry chef and now works as a butcher in Brooklyn. Voracious was born from her blog, it’s true. But the blog, Yummy Books came from a book club that she had with friends that evolved into a supper club where she cooked a meal for the book club somehow inspired by or related to the book they read. In other words, she’s the real deal, without even the hint of gimmick.
Beyond all that, it’s a wonderful read. The book is divided into three sections: Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood, with each section comprised of books for that age range. You get pancakes from Pippi Longstocking and Biscuits with Molasses Butter from To Kill a Mockingbird and a perfect soft-boiled egg from Emma. The recipes are fun to read. For someone at my stage of life, many of them were too difficult or time-consuming but I still enjoyed reading them. The real treat for me was reading Nicoletti’s reflections on each book. She weaves in biography and how the books influenced her with thoughts on food in literature and with stories from the various kitchens she’s worked in.
The best thing about books about books is that you come away with multiple additions to the every-growing to-be-read list. If you like growing your TBR list or you are just looking for a light, fun and altogether delicious read, Voracious is a great choice.
Other Great Book about Books:
Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
The Pleasures of Reading in the Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
The Heroine’s Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore
Booked by Karen Swallow Prior
Walking a Literary Labyrinth by Nancy M. Malone
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman