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Adult Summer Reading Program: Food Memories

The remarkable life stories and culinary reflections of renowned chefs, food critics, and authors, as recommended by our library staff.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

The world-renowned chef -- born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America -- shares his remarkable, enchanting, and poignant life story.

Recommended by Kristi from Library Headquarters

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My Life in France  by Julia Child

Legendary food expert Julia Child describes her years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence, and her journey from a young woman who could not cook or speak any French to published author of French cookbooks and becoming television's "The French Chef."

Recommended by Mona from Malibu Library

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Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

Don't worry if you can't tell foie gras from a catfish fillet! Restaurant critic Ruth Reichl's memoir of her adventures dressing up to avoid detection by restaurants she was reviewing is more about the social elements of the restaurant industry than the culinary knowledge it takes to work there. Surprisingly poignant, Garlic and Sapphires follows the author's experiences with family and friends in addition to the illustrious NY Times. This is one of the best books out there, food-related and otherwise!

Recommended by Oleg from West Hollywood Library

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Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz

Our book club so enjoyed reading about the life of American culinary icon Julia Child. Julia launched a food revolution that gripped America for more than 50 years. We're sure you will enjoy reading about her amazing life, too!

Recommended by Barbara from Rowland Heights Library

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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

If you are into the Slow Food movement, get inspired by or live vicariously through Barbara Kingsolver as she and her family spend a year eating food they either grew themselves or that was grown and produced in their local community.

Recommended by Jennifer from Library Headquarters

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Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess by Gael Greene

An epic memoir of the sensuality of food and sex in New York, Europe, and beyond as only the Insatiable Critic can tell it.

Recommended by Sarah from A C Bilbrew Library

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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

This is an amusing memoir from the former New York Times food critic. Her mother was a notoriously terrible cook and yet Ruth Reichl grew up enamored by food. Here she tells various stories from her life, all relating in some way to food - both terrible and delectable. Recipes are peppered throughout the book as well.

Recommended by Stacey from City Terrace Library