How did your reading go in June? Did you read something from this month’s theme of food and connection? There certainly were a lot of great (delicious!) books to choose from!
Our main title this month was the graphic novel Relish by Lucy Knisley. I’m not a big fan of graphic novels, but this one is loaded with charming illustrations, funny personal stories and cooking tips and recipes. Knisley retraces her culinary journey through her life, from her earliest memories of the kitchen of her “foodie” parents, to travels around the world where she discovers new foods, to her triumphs and stumbles in cooking as an adult. Relevant recipes are scattered throughout the book along with cooking tips and shortcuts.
While you can expect to find recipes and cooking adventures in food-oriented books as well as vivid descriptions of meals and dining experiences, what I find most intriguing about them goes beyond the food. It’s the fellowship and celebration of cultural differences that these books share. There’s almost always food involved when people gather, especially celebrations and family events. Food brings us together with shared memories and family history whether it’s food brought to America with immigrants (recently arrived or long ago), regional specialties or a nuclear family’s own traditions. The preparation of food can honor those who have passed away and it can be an integral part of a holiday (Christmas cookies anyone? Thanksgiving turkey?). It can also teach us about other cultures – visiting another country (or even another part of the US) can open our eyes to new flavors and cuisines and broaden our perspectives.
Did you find this to be true in the book you read for June? How did food factor into the story? What was the character’s experience with food? Did your characters celebrate traditional family meals, or did they explore different cultures through food?
Be sure to share your observations on this month’s Book Flight in the comments below!