BOOK DISCUSSION SERIES – “Gastronomy: Novels About Food & Culture” Next Discussion- Dec. 2nd @ 4:30 for “The Last Chinese Chef.” One of the most tantalizing ways to learn about a culture is through its food. These mouth-watering novels highlight how what we eat is closely aligned with who we are.

Come pick up a book at the library and join our last discussion on Friday, Dec. 2nd @ 4:30. A description of the book is below. Mary Hays will be facilitating this last discussion of the series. The discussions will be held in person, or you can join virtually with this link  – the password is “Blake”

The following are the 4 books in this series, with descriptions below:
1.“Crescent” by Diana Abu-Jaber – Sept 9 @ 4;30
2.“Paper Fish” by Tina de Rosa – Oct. 7th @ 4:30
3.“The Mistress of Spices” by Chitra Divakaruni – Nov 4th @ 4:30
4.“The Last Chinese Chef” by Nicole Mones – Dec. 2nd @ 4:30

4th Book – (Dec. 2 @ 4:30) – “The last Chinese Chef” – “In her satisfying, sensual third novel, Nicole Mones takes readers inside the hidden world of elite cuisine in modern China through the story of an American food writer in Beijing. When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husband’s estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for China’s Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisine’s artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization. It is here, amid lessons of tradition, obligation, and human connection that she finds the secret ingredient that may yet heal her heart. –

1st book (Sept 9th @ 4:30) – “Crescent” Written in a lush, lyrical style, infused with the flavors and scents of Middle Eastern food, and spiced with history and fable, Crescent is a sensuous love story and a gripping tale of risk and commitment.” – Goodreads

2nd book (Oct. 7th @ 4:30) – “Paper Fish – “Out of childhood memories, family lore, and an intimate knowledge of Chicago’s West Side Italian community, Paper Fish creates a world of radiant particularities—bent hands at domestic work; the feel of rough wool and old palms against a child’s face; city noises, cooking smells, and kitchen sounds. This is a world that urban renewal and acculturation intended to sweep away; it is reclaimed in De Rosa’s wonderfully focused, tactile prose.” —Michael Anania, author of The Red Menace.

3rd Book (Nov. 4th @ 4:30) – “The Mistress of Spices” – “A classic work of magical realism, this bestselling novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni tells the story of Tilo, a young woman from another time who has a gift for the mystical art of spices.
Now immortal, and living in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman, Tilo has set up shop in Oakland, California, where she administers curatives to her customers. But when she’s surprised by an unexpected romance with a handsome stranger, she must choose between everlasting life and the vicissitudes of modern society. Spellbinding and hypnotizing, The Mistress of Spices is a tale of joy, sorrow, and one special woman’s magical powers.” – Apple Books