Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781784291921
Available:
Release: 2015-07-28
Editor: RiverRun
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

'A tremendous novel that combines powerfully moving moments with hilarious satire' Daily Mail 'Eva Thorvald is the new Olive Kitteridge' Elisabeth Egan 'Kitchens of the Great Midwest is terrific' Jane Smiley, Guardian Have you met Eva Thorvald? To her father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can figure out. Someday, Eva will surprise everyone. One by one, they tell their story; together, they tell Eva's. Joyful, quirky and heartwarming, this is a novel about the family you lose, the friends you make and the chance connections that make a life. On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession. Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns. Special paperback edition with questions for reading groups, interview, guide to the Midwest, recipes and more!

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780698196513
Available:
Release: 2015-07-28
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“A sweet and savory treat.” —People “An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu . . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are.”—The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Pick From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a novel about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience. Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780143109419
Available:
Release: 2016-06-07
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Originally published: New York: Pamela Dorman Books / Viking, 2015.

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

The Lager Queen of Minnesota
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780399563072
Available:
Release: 2019-07-23
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A National Bestseller! “The perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day.” —Washington Post “[A] charmer of a tale. . . Warm, witty and--like any good craft beer--complex, the saga delivers a subtly feminist and wholly life-affirming message.” —People Magazine A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can't help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself. With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: "Drink lots. It's Blotz." Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen's is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it's not too late. Meanwhile, Edith's granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up--will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family? Here we meet a cast of lovable, funny, quintessentially American characters eager to make their mark in a world that's often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.

The Simplicity of Cider

The Simplicity of Cider
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781501154928
Available:
Release: 2017-05-16
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie. Don’t miss Amy’s newest work of women’s fiction: The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go! Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land. Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard. Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm. From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.

The Last Human

The Last Human
Author: Zack Jordan
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780451499837
Available:
Release: 2020-03-24
Editor: Del Rey
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The last human in the universe must battle unfathomable alien intelligences—and confront the truth about humanity—in this ambitious, galaxy-spanning debut “A good old-fashioned space opera in a thoroughly fresh package.”—Andy Weir, author of The Martian “Big ideas and believable science amid a roller-coaster ride of aliens, AI, superintelligence, and the future of humanity.”—Dennis E. Taylor, author of We Are Legion Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy. Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again. And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth—that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is—impossibly—the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago. That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered. Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship—with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands—Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth. What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table—and a second chance for humanity? The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut—a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.

Like You d Understand Anyway

Like You d Understand  Anyway
Author: Jim Shepard
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780307487520
Available:
Release: 2008-11-19
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Following his widely acclaimed Project X and Love and Hydrogen—“Here is the effect of these two books,” wrote the Chicago Tribune: “A reader finishes them buzzing with awe”—Jim Shepard now gives us his first entirely new collection in more than a decade. Like You’d Understand, Anyway reaches from Chernobyl to Bridgeport, with a host of narrators only Shepard could bring to pitch-perfect life. Among them: a middle-aged Aeschylus taking his place at Marathon, still vying for parental approval. A maddeningly indefatigable Victorian explorer hauling his expedition, whaleboat and all, through the Great Australian Desert in midsummer. The first woman in space and her cosmonaut lover, caught in the star-crossed orbits of their joint mission. Two Texas high school football players at the top of their food chain, soliciting their fathers’ attention by leveling everything before them on the field. And the rational and compassionate chief executioner of Paris, whose occupation, during the height of the Terror, eats away at all he holds dear. Brimming with irony, compassion, and withering humor, these eleven stories are at once eerily pertinent and dazzlingly exotic, and they showcase the work of a protean, prodigiously gifted writer at the height of his form. Reading Jim Shepard, according to Michael Chabon, “is like encountering our national literature in microcosm.”

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
Author: Ben Loory
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781101529287
Available:
Release: 2011-07-26
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“This guy can write!” —Ray Bradbury Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people-and monsters and trees and jocular octopi-who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination. Contains 40 stories, including “The Duck,” “The Man and the Moose,” and “Death and the Fruits of the Tree,” as heard on NPR’s This American Life, “The Book,” as heard on Selected Shorts, and “The TV,” as published in The New Yorker.

Project X

Project X
Author: Jim Shepard
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9780307427335
Available:
Release: 2007-12-18
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In the wilderness of junior high, Edwin Hanratty is at the bottom of the food chain. His teachers find him a nuisance. His fellow students consider him prey. And although his parents are not oblivious to his troubles, they can't quite bring themselves to fathom the ruthless forces that demoralize him daily. Sharing in these schoolyard indignities is his only friend, Flake. Branded together as misfits, their fury simmers quietly in the hallways, classrooms, and at home, until an unthinkable idea offers them a spectacular and terrifying release. From Jim Shepard, one of the most enduring and influential novelists writing today, comes an unflinching look into the heart and soul of adolescence. Tender and horrifying, prescient and moving, Project X will not easily be forgotten.

Hot Dish Heaven

Hot Dish Heaven
Author: Ann Burckhardt
Pages: 174
ISBN: 0873515684
Available:
Release: 2006
Editor: Minnesota Historical Society
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the land where the hot dish began comes a delicious array of kitchen-tested recipes featuring traditional favorites and modern meals for today's casserole cook.

The School of Essential Ingredients

The School of Essential Ingredients
Author: Erica Bauermeister
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781101015698
Available:
Release: 2009-01-22
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the author of Reese Witherspoon's Book Club pick The Scent Keeper comes a “heartbreakingly delicious” national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life. Once a month on a Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of the class would never suspect. The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. And soon they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create....

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect
Author: Rachel McKenny
Pages: 329
ISBN: 1643855298
Available:
Release: 2020-09-08
Editor: Alcove Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Sarah Haywood's The Cactus meets Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project in this heartwarming tale of an introvert, her lack of social conduct and empirical data-driven approach to people and relationships. The monarch. The glasswing. The red admiral. These are the names of some of Greta Oto's closest friends. As an entomologist who specializes in butterflies, Greta far prefers the company of bugs to humans, with the exception of her twin brother, Danny, though they've recently had a falling out. So she lands a research gig in the rainforest and leaves it all behind. But when Greta learns that Danny has suffered an aneurysm and is now hospitalized, she abandons her research and hurries home to the middle of nowhere America to be there for her brother. But there's only so much she can do, and unfortunately just like insects, humans don't stay cooped up in their hives either--they buzz about and... socialize. Coming home means confronting all that she left behind, including her lousy soon-to-be sister-in-law, her estranged mother, and her ex-boyfriend Brandon who has conveniently found a new non-lab-exclusive partner with shiny hair, perfect teeth, and can actually remember the names of the people she meets right away. Being that Brandon runs the only butterfly conservatory in town, and her dissertation is now in jeopardy, taking that job, being back home, it's all creating chaos of Greta's perfectly catalogued and compartmentalized world. The Butterfly Effect is a warm, uplifting story about the behavior of bugs (and people), how they can be altered by high-pressure climates, confused by breakdowns in communication, and most importantly, how they can rehabilitate themselves and each other.

Brunch and Other Obligations

Brunch and Other Obligations
Author: Suzanne Nugent
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9781631528552
Available:
Release: 2020-05-05
Editor: She Writes Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Poignant, funny, and smart, Brunch and Other Obligations is a must-have for contemporary women's fiction shelves. Readers will want to watch for what Nugent does next.” —Booklist “A thoroughly upbeat and fully entertaining novel from cover to cover.” —Midwest Book Review “Brunch and Other Obligations is women’s fiction at its finest! A tender, witty, heartfelt novel that had me laughing out loud in one chapter and reaching for tissues in the next. With humor, heart, and hope, Nugent reminds us that, once in a lifetime, if we’re very, very lucky, we just might find a friend who knows us better than we know ourselves.” —Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times best-selling author of The Life List The only thing reclusive bookworm Nora, high-powered attorney Christina, and supermom-in-training Leanne ever had in common was their best friend, Molly. When Molly dies, she leaves mysterious gifts and cryptic notes for each of her grieving best friends, along with one final request: that these three mismatched frenemies have brunch together every month for a year. Filled with heartwrenching scenes and witty prose, Brunch and Other Obligations explores the intricate dynamics of girlhood acquaintances who are forced to reconnect as women. This upbeat novel reminds readers that there’s hope for getting through the hard times in life—with a lot of patience, humor, and a standing brunch date.

Critically Acclaimed

Critically Acclaimed
Author: J. Ryan Stradal,Adam Cushman
Pages: 329
ISBN: 194557254X
Available:
Release: 2017-09-12
Editor: Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Book
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"A large portion of this money, we of course have now learned, was put toward the scientific enterprise of discovering a new planet in the solar system and then, no other way to describe it, blowing it up." A fun and poignant collection of real reviews of fake movies by some of today's best and brightest writers. What seems like a funny, whimsical book, is actually an acute look at how cultural criticism works, what we find important or unimportant, and how movies help shape our world. Featuring writers like, Kevin Wilson (author ofThe Family Fang), Antoine Wilson (author ofPanorama City), Comedian Sofiya Alexandra, and many, many, more.

The Last Pilot

The Last Pilot
Author: Benjamin Johncock
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781250066657
Available:
Release: 2015-07-07
Editor: Picador
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Winner of the Author's Club Best First Novel Award A Finalist for the East Anglian Book Award for Fiction “The Last Pilot made me cry and brought back all my old Right Stuff feels. A brilliant debut. I loved it.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk Jim Harrison is a test pilot in the United States Air Force, one of the exalted few. He spends his days cheating death in the skies above the Mojave Desert and his nights at his friend Pancho’s bar, often with his wife, Grace. She and Harrison are secretly desperate for a child, and when, unexpectedly, Grace learns that she is pregnant, the two are overjoyed. America becomes swept up in the fervor of the Space Race, while Harrison turns his attention home to welcome his daughter, Florence, into the world. But as he and Grace confront thrills and challenges of parenthood, they are met with sudden tragedy. The aftermath will haunt the Harrisons and strain their marriage, as Jim struggles to make life-and-death decisions under circumstances that are altogether new. Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock is the mesmerizing story of a couple’s crisis of faith—in themselves, and in each another—and the limits they test to rediscover it.

Relish

Relish
Author: Lucy Knisley
Pages: 173
ISBN: 9781596436237
Available:
Release: 2013-04-02
Editor: Macmillan
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A graphically illustrated, recipe-complemented memoir by the indie cartoonist author of French Milk describes her food-enriched youth as the daughter of a chef and a gourmet, key memories that were marked by special meals and the ways in which cooking has imparted valuable life lessons. Original.

The Waiter

The Waiter
Author: Matias Faldbakken
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781501197536
Available:
Release: 2019-06-18
Editor: Gallery/Scout Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“As if The Remains of the Day had been written by Kingsley Amis, The Waiter is…one of the most purely entertaining novels I’ve read in years. This book is a meal you won’t want to finish.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest In the tradition of the modern classics The Remains of the Day and A Gentleman in Moscow comes The Waiter, in which the finely tuned balance of a timeworn European restaurant is irrevocably upset by an unexpected guest. The Hills dates from a time when pigs were pigs and swine were swine, the Maître D’ likes to say—in other words from the mid-1800s. Every day begins with the head waiter putting on his jacket. In with one arm, then the other. Shrugged onto his shoulders. Horn buttons done up. Always the same. There is clinking. Cutlery is moved around porcelain and up to mouths. But in this universe unto itself, there is scarcely any contact between the tables of regulars. And that is precisely how the waiter likes it. Sheer routine…until a beautiful young woman walks through the door and upsets the delicate balance of the restaurant and all it has come to represent. Told in a kaleidoscopic rotation of voices—the headwaiter, the bartender, the coat checker, the chef who never speaks—The Waiter marks the North American debut of an exciting new voice in literary fiction that will leave you longing to sit down at The Hills, order a drink, and watch the world go by….

Favorite Recipes from Great Midwest Cooks

Favorite Recipes from Great Midwest Cooks
Author: Better Homes and Gardens,Midwest Magazine Living Staff,Midwest Magazine Living
Pages: 144
ISBN: 0696019787
Available:
Release: 1992
Editor: Meredith Corporation
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Gathers recipes from Midwest state fairs, cooking contests, farms, shops, and markets, including breads, cakes, pies, candies, vegetables, salads, fritters, casseroles, and soups

Bundt Cake Bliss

Bundt Cake Bliss
Author: Susanna Short
Pages: 145
ISBN: 0873515854
Available:
Release: 2007
Editor: Minnesota Historical Society
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Short brings back the Bundt cakes of yesteryear with mouthwatering, kitchen-tested recipes for busy families, elegant entertainers, and confection connoisseurs everywhere. In addition, the dozens of glazes, sauces, and frostings are sure to transform any cake into a shining crown of glory.

Bread Alone

Bread Alone
Author: Judith R. Hendricks
Pages: 368
ISBN: 0062104683
Available:
Release: 2012-03-13
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The life of 31-year-old trophy wife Wynter Morrison suddenly changes course when her husband announces one evening that their marriage is over. Emotionally devastated and desperate for a change of scenery, Wyn moves to Seattle where she spends aimless hours at a local bakery, sipping coffee and inhaling the sweet aromas of freshly-made bread. These visits bring back memories of her long-ago apprenticeship at a French boulangerie, and when offered a position at the bakery, Wyn quickly accepts -- hoping that the rituals of baking will help her move on. Working long hours among the bakery's cluster of eclectic women -- Linda, the irascible bread baker; earth mother Ellen and her partner Diane; and Tyler, the blue-haired barista -- Wyn awakens to the truths that she missed while living the good life in Hancock Park. Soon Wyn discovers that making bread possesses an unexpected and wondrous healing power, helping her to rediscover that nothing stays the same... bread rises, pain fades, the heart heals, and the future beckons.