November is one of my favorite months. Thanksgiving looms near — far and away my most-adored holiday. It’s also National Novel Writing Month, a month where tens of thousands of writers commit to writing a novel in one month. That’s 50,000 words — in one month!
National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) started in July, 1999 somewhat by accident, when a small group of 21 friends decided to write their dream novels in a mere 31 days. A movement was born. Now it occurs every November, and this year more than 200,000 writers have made the commitment to tackle this challenge and “win” NaNoWriMo. I won in 2006 by writing more than 50,000 crappily-written words in the shabby form of a Las Vegas wedding chapel love story. Everyone who writes the words wins! I now have a framed certificate pronouncing my accomplishment.
In honor of NaNoWriMo and the writers racing for the finish line this year, I decided to share three of my favorite food-related books — not cookbooks — but food stories. I think you’ll like them, and they’ll make great holiday gifts for your family and friends.
- Shucked: Life On A New England Oyster Farm by Erin Byers Murray. This book sat on a coffee table in my room at the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston one business trip. The author, a writer, decided to try something new and went to work for the Island Creek Oyster Company. Her tale of a small, local food company and her part in its growth is so endearing. I want to farm oysters too.
- Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment by Julie Powell. You know the movie starring Meryl Streep, but have you read the book? Based on Julie Powell’s blog about her journey through Julia Childs’ world, the book just makes you smile. That’s it – it makes you smile. And think about the lovely Julia Child.
- Tender At The Bone: Growing Up At The Table by Ruth Reichl. Now a renowned food critic, Ruth Reichl shares her story of learning about food from her mother (known as Queen Mold) and others who influenced her to be the culinary powerhouse she is today. So sweet and amusing.
Want more? Check out my five more of my favorite food books and this curated list of the best food memoirs around today. Read ’em and let me know what you think!
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