Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Table of Contents: The Cookbook Collector

The Cookbook Collector: A NovelAuthor: Allegra Goodman
Publisher/Year: Dial Press, 2010
Synopsis: Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight year old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, and twenty-three year old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic

Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley. Romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily's boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess's boyfriends, not so much--as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.

Bicoastal, surprising, rich in ideas and characters, this is a novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can't find what we're looking for: reading cookbooks instead of cooking, speculating instead of creating, collecting instead of living. But above all it is about holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.

What Others Have To Say

The Los Angeles Times
"...Goodman makes us care so much about each character and his or her individual story —- not what will happen but how it will affect these people we've come to know — that the pages cannot turn fast enough."

The New York Times
"We’re always told there are recipes for disaster and recipes for happiness, but where exactly those recipes are to be found is anyone’s guess."

The A.V. Club
"...Goodman’s naturalistic dialogue tethers even the most hurried plot twists to the people whose value to each other hangs in the balance."

The Washington Post
"...it's awfully charming, but the book's charm is grounded by a searching contemplation of contemporary values in the age of sudden fortunes, sensational bankruptcies and terrorist attacks."

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