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KCL Adult Summer Reading 2013


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Sign up at any Kern County Library location.

To get started, print & download the Adult Reading Log.

Summer events for adults are available at the library locations listed below. Please click on the branch location to view & download the schedule of events.



Enjoy these delicious reads this summer!

Adult Fiction

water for choco coverLike Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in tum-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.
georgia coverGeorgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson
Georgia is head chef at a top New York City restaurant and engaged. Her life seems perfect. When she's suddenly dumped and fired, Georgia goes to Italy to reassess her life.
hungry coverHungry for Happiness by James Villas
Loretta Crawford's family's love of food shows all too clearly on her 280-pound frame, until one day her loser husband, Lyman, leaves her for another woman and Loretta realizes she's had enough. Down but determined, Loretta opts for weight loss surgery. As her size plummets, her horizons expand and the Houston catering business that was once her hobby begins to take off in earnest.
love goddess coverThe Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate
Unlikely chef Holly Maguire inherits a cooking school from her late grandmother. Holly welcomes a small, eclectic group of students-from a 12-year-old to a heartbroken divorcee-into her kitchen and they cook their way through her grandmother’s cookbook.
strangers coverStrangers at the Feast : A Novel by Jennifer Vanderbes
For the Olsens, the clan at the center of this food-themed novel, Thanksgiving 2007 begins as a tense affair as family feuds are swept under the rug. But when two kids from the projects commit a blood-soaked crime that disrupts the holiday, the Olsens forget their differences and come together to keep each other safe.
100 ft coverThe Hundred-Foot Journey : A Novel by Richard C. Morais
Chef Hassan Haji journeys from Mumbai to France after an untimely death in his family. The Hajis leave India and settle in Lumiére, a small town in the French Alps. The Hajis introduces the locals to rich Indian flavors with the opening of their restaurant, and experiences comical encounters in a culture entirely different from theirs. Inspired by the family business and his native cooking, Haji moves to Paris to open an upscale restaurant, where he makes new discoveries of his own about his life, culture, and food.

gourmet coverGourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

scratch coverStarting from Scratch by Susan Gilbert-Collins
After her mother’s death, Olivia Tschetter cannot bring herself to leave the family kitchen and return to graduate school-instead she seeks comfort in a love of cooking, which she and her mother shared. To deflect the concerns of her family, she starts working at the local Meals on Wheels, where she uncovers a family secret. As the state of her family and her life changes, Olivia finds a new, stronger voice in the aftermath of tragedy.
flounder coverThe Flounder by Gunter Grass
It all begins in the Stone Age, when a talking fish is caught by a fisherman at the very spot where millennia later Grass's home town, Danzig, will arise. Like the fish, the fisherman is immortal, and down through the ages they move together.
crescent coverCrescent: A Novel by Diana Abu-Jaber
Thirty-nine-year-old Sirine, never married, lives with a devoted Iraqi-immigrant uncle and an adoring dog named King Babar. She works as a chef in a Lebanese restaurant, her passions aroused only by the preparation of food—until an unbearably handsome Arabic literature professor starts dropping by for a little home cooking. Falling in love brings Sirene's whole heart to a boil—stirring up memories of her parents and questions about her identity as an Arab American.
salt coverThe Book of Salt: A Novel by Monique Truong
The Book of Salt serves up a wholly original take on Paris in the 1930s through the eyes of Binh, the Vietnamese cook employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Viewing his famous mesdames and their entourage from the kitchen of their rue de Fleurus home, Binh observes their domestic entanglements while seeking his own place in the world.
body coverA Body to Die for : a Savannah Reid Mystery by G.A. McKevett
Obnoxious diet guru Clarissa Jardin reports her womanizing, gambling husband, Bill, missing. When Bill turns up as a frozen corpse with a bullet in his skull, Bill's mother hires Savannah to prove Clarissa killed her son or hired someone to do it.
sweet coverSweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer
Julie Mueller, once a brilliant local television reporter, has been fired for the sin of being forty. Broke, divorced, unemployed, and struggling to raise a teenage daughter alone, she had given up on happiness until she receives for Mother's Day four dessert classes that spark not only a new burst of culinary creativity but a burning passion for one of her fellow students, Michael Slayton, a true love she let slip away.
school coverThe School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Eight students gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen as Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students' lives.
eat cake coverEat Cake : A Novel by Jeanne Ray
Ruth has always found baking cakes to be a source of relief from the stresses of life. And now-as her husband loses his job, her life-of-the-party father arrives for an extended stay (much to the dismay of her mother, who also moved in recently), and her teenage daughter perfects the art of sulking-Ruth is going to have to save the day. And let the crumbs fall where they may...

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Adult Nonfiction

heat coverHeat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
by Bill Buford
The author's account of his entry into the world of a professional cook-in-training, documenting his experiences in the kitchens of chefs Mario Batali and Marco Pierre White and his apprenticeships with Batali's former teachers.
cook scream coverCooking & Screaming by Adrienne Kane
A recipe-filled memoir about loss, recovery, and finding oneself through food and cooking.
julia coverAs Always, Julia : The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto : Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece
by Joan Reardon
Presents more than 200 letters exchanged between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her friend and unofficial literary agent. This collection opens the window on Julia's deepest thoughts and feelings.
nasty coverThe Nasty Bits : Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones
by Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain serves up a well-seasoned hellbroth of candid, often outrageous stories from his worldwide misadventures.
bbb coverBlood, Bones, & Butter : The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
by Gabrielle Hamilton
Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law.
superfoods coverSuperfoods for Dummies by Shereen Jegtvig
This friendly guide explains everything you need to know — why you need superfoods, the science behind them, and how to prepare and enjoy them.
crave coverThe Food You Crave : Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life
by Ellie Krieger
This cookbook contains 200 recipes that cover every meal of the day and every craving you might have. Every recipe contains a complete nutritional breakdown, as well as tips on ingredients and techniques that will keep you eating smart and eating well.
nothing fancy coverNothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food
by Diana Kennedy
In this book, noted cook Diana Kennedy presents over 100 recipes that span the wide world of easy-to-prepare (yet often elegant and unusual) comfort food.
nyt cookbook coverThe Essential New York Times Cook Book : Classic Recipes for a New Century
by Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers
city cusine coverCity Cuisine by Mary Sue Milliken
"City Cuisine" is tandoori steaks, cool Thai salads, and fried parsnip chips. It's a great BLT, new-style grilled fish, and old-style brisket. It's exactly the type of food you like to eat.
dad cookbook coverDad's Own Cookbook by Bob Sloan
Dad's Own Cookbook shows how to do everything from handling a knife properly to juggling three dishes so that dinner comes together on schedule. Its lively charts, tips, and directions replace intimidation with pleasure and camaraderie, and its 150 great recipes will turn the most culinarily challenged dad into the family chef.
round coverBorn Round : The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater by Frank Bruni
Bruni, restaurant critic for "The New York Times," tells his heartbreaking and hilarious account of his lifelong, often painful struggle with food.
cook tour coverA Cook's Tour : In Search of the Perfect Meal by Anthony Bourdain
Dodging minefields in Cambodia, diving into the icy waters outside a Russian bath, Chef Bourdain travels the world over in search of the ultimate meal. The only thing Anthony Bourdain loves as much as cooking is traveling.Inspired by the question, 'What would be the perfect meal?', Anthony sets out on a quest for his culinary holy grail.
something coverIt Must've Been Something I Ate : The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything
by Jeffrey Steingarten
the Man Who Ate Everything proves that he will do anything to eat everything. That includes going fishing for his own supply of bluefin tuna belly; nearly incinerating his oven in pursuit of the perfect pizza crust, and spending four days boning and stuffing three different fowl—into each other-- to produce the Cajun specialty called “turducken.”
fork coverFork It Over : The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater by Alan Richman
Fork it over is a hilarious series of culinary adventures from GQ's award-winning food critic, ranging from flunking out of the Paul Bocuse school in Lyon to dining and whining with Sharon Stone.
great ate coverWhat the Great Ate : A Curious History of Food and Fame
by Matthew Jacob and Mark Jacob
In What the Great Ate, Matthew and Mark Jacob have cooked up a bountiful sampling of the peculiar culinary likes, dislikes, habits, and attitudes of famous—and often notorious—figures throughout history.
sharper coverThe sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry : Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School
by Kathleen Flinn
This is the funny and inspiring account of Kathleen Flinn’s struggle in a stew of hot-tempered chefs, competitive classmates, her own “wretchedly inadequate” French, and the basics of French cuisine.
fantasy coverThe Fantasy Cookbook by Rita and Timothy Hildebrandt
Real recipes you can cook in your own home!
crowd coverCrowd-Pleasing Potluck : 225 Delicious Recipes Guaranteed to Win Rave Reviews
by Francine Halvorsen
Entertaining a crowd? These potluck dishes take group entertaining to a new level of taste and sophistication.Most of the simple-to-make, easy-to-take dishes in this book serve 8 to 12 people but can easily be halved or multiplied.
oprah coverThe Oprah Magazine Cookbook by the editors of O Magazine
Who wouldn't love to put fantastic foods on the table--extraordinary pleasures for everyday eating; simply delicious treats that can be prepared in record time; comfort food that brings family and friends together; luxurious meals that cost barely more than fast food; divine dishes perfect for guests or just for quiet nights at home? Now you can have all that and more, any time you choose, with this first-ever collection of 175 beloved recipes from O, The Oprah Magazine.
appetite coverA Well-Seasoned Appetite : Recipes From an American Kitchen by Molly O'Neill
The award-winning author of The New York Cookbook combines innovative cooking techniques with a delectable assortment of seasonal recipes that emphasize the best of each season of the year.
coffee coverCoffee Talk : The Stimulating Story of the World's Most Popular Brew
by Morton Satin
"Why does coffee make the world seem right?" Satin answers his own question and more in this ode to the mighty bean, which details the origins of java as well as its current corporate culture. And if this book has you thirsty for a cup of joe, turn to Satin’s step-by-step guide for brewing the perfect, piping hot cup of espresso.
eating coverEating for Beginners : An Education in the Pleasures of Food From Chefs, Farmers, and One Picky Kid by Melanie Rehak
When Rehak realizes she has too many unanswered questions about food-what to buy at the store, what to feed her son, why organic is important-she decides to immerse herself in the world of food production. Rehak joins the staff of a locally supplied restaurant called applewood, learns their cooking methods and gets her hands dirty while she soaks up knowledge as a farmhand. As she completes her education, the reader learns important food lessons along with her.
cakewalk coverCakewalk : A Memoir by Kate Moses
Throughout her difficult childhood, her awkward adolescent years and the end of her first marriage, Moses has had one constant in her life: sweets. She made chocolate chip cookies for the "weirdo kids" in junior high, baked brownies that M.F.K. Fischer proclaimed "delicious," and was consoled post-divorce by her buddy Alicia’s blondies. In a brilliantly witty tone Kate shares that her life isn’t perfect, but time spent making-and eating-sweet treats certainly is.
dirty coverThe Dirty Life : On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball
Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him.
ferran coverFerran : The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man who Reinvented Food
by Colman Andrews
Restaurateur Ferran Adrià has changed the way people think of food and making a reservation: His El Bulli restaurant in Spain seats only 8,000 people each year, or less than 25 per day. "Since Ferran, every chef has felt free to create new things," Milanese chef Carlo Cracco says. A true innovator, Ferran is known for combining unlikely ingredients like sake and sorbet, coco and caviar. This book details Ferran’s genius and his influence over the way people experience food.

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