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The Book Lover's Cookbook Hardcover – October 14, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For anyone who has ever wanted to taste the food that plays a role in their favorite books, this charming volume provides the recipes. Wenger and Jensen, both chefs and avid readers, have pored over volumes from Little Women to The Importance of Being Earnest, found food-related passages and devised recipes for each. For example, Catch 'Em to Eat 'Em Chicken and Dumplings was inspired by this passage from Frannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café: "Even at 11, they say she could make the most delicious biscuits and gravy, cobbler, fried chicken, turnip greens, and black-eyed peas. And her dumplings were so light they would float in the air and you'd have to catch 'em to eat 'em." Scattered between recipes and passages are quotations from authors about food and writing. At times, Wenger and Jensen may stretch to link some of their recipes to literature-Baked Stuffed Mushrooms follows a passage from Alice and Wonderland-which seems rather unnecessary given that there are so many books with appropriate food descriptions. Nonetheless, their volume provides a fun read for any bibliophile-cum-foodie.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Rich in good food with a lively variety of literary links.”
–Associated Press

“Add a delectable new element to your next book club gathering.”
Trenton Times

“A cornucopia of authors who have a knack for getting the salivary glands going. . . . you’re sure to find something to satisfy the senses.”
–Chicago Tribune

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (October 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345465008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345465009
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joanna J. Young on December 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I would recommend "The Booklover's Cookbook" as a perfect present for a bookworm who happens to cook (but perhaps not for a cook who happens to read occasionally).
It features 170 recipes with excerpts from various books mentioning that specific food, as well as quotes from authors on writing and books. Some of it seems to be a stretch, but over all the authors did a great job compiling it into this lovely book.
It is very amusing, if anything just to flip through on a slow Saturday afternoon with your friends and reminisce about stories you all read once upon a time (you will definitely hear a lot of "Oh yeah, I remember that book! I read it years ago, when I was in elementary school/just after whats-his-name broke up with me/in college for that horrible lit class/etc, etc"...).
The authors feature a nice variety of different foods spanning eras and book genres - from Ichabod's Slapjacks (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) to Mr. Casabon's Chicken Noodle Soup (Middlemarch) and Tamales (Like Water for Chocolate). Two recipes I was especially tickled by were the Turkish Delight (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) and Not Violet, but Blueberry Pie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) - it brought me back to my frustration with Edmund's greediness and of course the excitement shared with Charlie.
"The Booklover's Cookbook" is indeed an endearing book, meant to be shared in order to be truly enjoyed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anne L. Cloward on October 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This volume combines two of my greatest passions, cooking and reading. With contributions from many famous authors, these two talented women have assembled some great recipes as well as unforgettable descriptions of meals. ... My mouth waters at the descriptions and I am itching to try some of these wonderful recipes. This is a wonderful book to curl up with and then when so inspired, start getting out the pans and and recreating the feel as well as the taste of these wonderful meals.
This book is on my Christmas list to share with others who share my passions and want some good reading as well as eating!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Korelc on April 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Who would have thought that actually reading a cookbook could be so much fun? My personal preference leans toward cookbooks that offer more than a collection of recipes and this book delights both readers of the classics and contemporary literature, as well as the enthusiastic cookbook collector. I had the good fortune of meeting authors Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen in a live chat. I was taken by their lively sense of humor and the fun they expressed they had in assembling the recipes to match the excerpts and quotations used throughout the book.
You'll find plenty of comfort food to enjoy while you read some great stories, or revisit old favorites.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Wickes on October 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A book filled with recipes and the passages from the books that inspired their creation.

Shaunda Kennedy Wenger is a writer and food lover. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. Her first children's book is about to be published by Richard Owens Publishers. She is also currently writing her first novel, which also contains recipes. Although originally from New Hampshire, she currently resides in Utah with her husband and three children.

Janet Kay Jensen is a speech pathologist. She is a published writer and has won numerous awards. She lives in Utah with her husband and is the mother of three children. She is currently working on her first novel.

This book is filled with over 200 recipes, all inspired by passages in books. There are no photographs in this book, as all book lovers need is an imagination! Some of the exciting chapters contained within this book are: Breakfasts; Main and Side Dishes; Soups; Salads; Appetizers, Breads and Other Finger Foods; Desserts; and, Cookies and Other Sweets.

As a person who enjoys cooking first, and then reading, I found the recipes were mediocre. I think this was a difficult task for the authors, but some of the recipes, I didn't quite imagine that their interpretation of the passage equalled the resulting recipe. I feel like this book is really for, as the title indicates, a book lover's cookbook.

There are some interesting recipes, such as "A King's Bean Salad" inspired by "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and "Pippi's Orange-Cranberry Muffins" inspired by "Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren.

This is a good book that is an excellent gift idea for book lovers that love to cook.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. T. Enloe on October 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Good books and good food are unadulterated comfort for many of us. The painstakingly-researched, kitchen-tested recipes drawn from the contents of books loved by so many readers, coupled with the beautiful phsyical presentation of this cookbook make it a must-have for all who appreciate good books, good food, or both! I've already shared the news of this publication with friends and received enthusiastic responses, many of which make reference to their gift lists for upcoming holidays.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Milling on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This unique cookbook combines a passion for books and for cooking. Recipes from literature and related to recognized literary works for adults and children are organized by type (desserts, beverages,etc.) Excerpts that mention the type of food are included and are often familiar passages. In some cases, the author contributed the recipes; in others, it was originally included in the literary work being referenced or comes from elsewhere. It's entertaining to remember or be introduced to the passages, situations and feelings that give rise to the culinary references. And the recipes are practical and easy to make as well. This makes a great gift book.
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