Category Archives: Food


Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is, to me, the ideal kind of historical fiction. It fills in the gaps of what we know in a reasonably plausible way. It gives us characters who feel of their time but also not so very distant … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Historical Fiction | 2 Comments


It has taken me ages, but I finally got around to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 novel, Americanah. It is every bit as good as Half of a Yellow Sun and for this American, much more potent in its subject matter. The book is … Continue reading

Posted in Food | 4 Comments

The Gastronomical Me

I love good food and good writing, but I’m not one to seek out good food writing. It’s not that I dislike food writing — I often do enjoy it — it’s just not at the top of my list. … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

The Cooking Gene

Subtitled “A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South,” this book by Michael Twitty is part memoir and part history in which Twitty traces his own genetic heritage through food. Born in Washington, DC, Twitty shunned the … Continue reading

Posted in Food, History, Nonfiction | 3 Comments

Fictitious Dishes

Fictitious Dishes, by Dinah Fried, is a fairly small hardcover book that combines my two favorite things: books and food. And food in books! Fried has an extremely winning premise: she found descriptions of meals in great books, recreated the … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Nonfiction | 7 Comments

Home Cooking (and a little brief introspection)

Shelf Love has been around since 2008, and until this year it was never difficult for me to post whatever I wanted to about what I was reading. Teresa and I have both always taken the view that we do … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Memoir, Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 30 Comments

My Life in France

Maybe you all remember back in 2005 when Julie and Julia came out. It was the result of a blog, remember, that Julie Powell wrote for, in which she cooked all of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Memoir, Nonfiction | 22 Comments

Intuitive Eating

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been on the plump side of normal, and over the years, I’ve drifted further and further away from that coveted “normal” weight. For much of my life, I didn’t let it worry … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Nonfiction | 23 Comments

The Pedant in the Kitchen

“I am a late-onset cook,” explains Julian Barnes at the beginning of this short collection of essays. Never having even watched his mother prepare meals when he was a child, he found himself dreadfully unprepared for kitchen duty as an … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Nonfiction | 6 Comments

Fair Food

One of the most life-changing books I’ve read in recent years was Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Since reading that book, I’ve started cutting back on processed food, cooking from scratch, and eating local or organic food almost exclusively. I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Nonfiction | Tagged | 15 Comments