Freedom Fries and Cafe Creme, by Jocelyne Rapinac. This one is published by the same press that did The Suicide Shop (Gallic). I cannot wait to read what looks to be another French gem!
Lucas sits in a Boston coffee shop, longing for a proper cup of French café . . .Juliette returns to Burgundy and the love she turned her back on . . .In Manhattan, live-in chef Armand is content with his life. And yet . . .This delicious story collection brings together a cast of characters from both sides of the Atlantic who all share a genuine delight in good food. Each story captures a moment when love is found, lost, or rejected. There is a story for each month of the year, accompanied by easy-to-follow recipes.
Gourmet Rhapsody, by Muriel Barbery, is another French novel in translation. I didn't so much care to finish The Elegance of the Hedgehog, but this novel is just too much to resist.
In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Pierre Athens, the greatest food critic in the world, is dying. Revered by some and reviled by many, Monsieur Arthens has been lording it over the world’s most esteemed chefs for years, passing judgment on their creations, deciding their fates with a stroke of his pen, destroying and building reputations on a whim. But now, during these his final hours, his mind has turned to simpler things. He is desperately searching for that singular flavor, that sublime something once sampled, never forgotten, the Flavor par excellence. Indeed, this flamboyant and self-absorbed man desires only one thing before he dies: one last taste.
Chew, vol. 1: Taster's Choice, by John Layman and Rob Guillory. I don't know what's up with the foodie fiction. Let's just go with it, shall we? This one sounds like it falls on the much darker side, though.
Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he's a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn't mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why. He's been brought on by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA, the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, to investigate their strangest, sickest, and most bizarre cases.
The Painted Veil, by W. Somerset Maugham is one of those books that's been on my radar forever. While I've been buying a lot of Penguin English Library classics lately, I thought it would be nice to start grabbing a few of the Vintage classics from The Book Depository so I have some newer classics in the house, too.
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.
The Collector, by John Fowles, is on my Classics Club list, and I will most likely order it soon. I also own The French Lieutenant's Woman, but this one is calling me a little bit more with what seem to be shades of Lolita. Anyone read it?
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy because it was discussed a lot in Owen Meany! There's nothing wrong with a little intertextual book buying inspiration. Right? And you know I had to snatch up at least one Penguin English Library edition this month.
The chance discovery by a young peasant woman that she is a descendant of the noble family of d'Urbervilles is to change the course of her life. Tess Durbeyfield leaves home on the first of her fateful journeys, and meets the ruthless Alec d'Urberville. Thomas Hardy's impassioned story tells of hope and disappointment, rejection and enduring love.
What's on your "must own" list right now?