A year or two ago, when my husband had just finished reading the latest book that I had pressed on him with all earnest entreaty that he must read it at once, he gave me an odd look and asked “Did you know that whenever you tell me a book is really, really good, it has a lot of cooking in it?”.
Oh. Apparently, I had noticed nothing of the sort. I am an avid and eclectic reader – indeed, it’s possible that I spend more time reading than I do thinking and talking about food. Mostly I don’t assume that everyone needs to read the same books that I do, but there are some novels or biographies which I feel are objectively so good that I want everyone to read them. And as it turns out, these novels and biographies tend to be full of people cooking, eating, or thinking about really good food. So much for my powers of literary criticism…
Actually, there is an increasing trend towards people writing mystery novels, romances and even urban fantasy novels that are full of cooking (and sometimes even recipes). The quality varies, but – I can’t help myself – I devour them all. Well, perhaps not all. There are a few that I’ve given up on, and one which I threw against a wall, but generally speaking, descriptions of lavish meals or contented cookery will have me going back to these books whenever I feel tired or sad or in need of a pick-me-up.
Right now, I am very tired indeed. This weekend was, as you may have noticed, quite a busy one, and work is not precisely relaxing either. So instead of posting a recipe or a cookbook review today, I’m going to write about one of my favourite cosy mystery novels. It’s set in Melbourne, and every time I read it, it makes me want to start a bakery.