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RSH Book Club: Five Books For Foodie Train Travellers

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Love whipping up a storm in the kitchen? Spend a lot of time dreaming about excellent restaurants? This month’s edition of the RSH Book Club has just the mouth-watering book choices for you.

Short trip or long journey, your train ride is the perfect time to sink your teeth into a good book. Check our journey planner for cheap train tickets and save a little extra money for books and snacks to go with them.

Reading about food is almost as good as eating it – and it’s certainly better for your waistline. If you love everything about food, here’s a balanced meal of books sure to satisfy during your daily commute or holiday journey.

1. Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil – Tom Mueller

As the title suggests, this is a book all about the mysterious underground and tall pinnacles of the world of olive oil production. This surprisingly absorbing book tells the story of the authentic artist-craftsmen who make Italy’s premium extra virgin oils.

Read about a Catholic priest in Sicily who harvests olives and makes oil on lands confiscated from Cosa Nostra in the face of regular death threats. Or the amazing tales of traditional sellers who are regularly doing battle with the mafiosa to keep quality oil alive.

Once you’ve read this, you’ll never look at your oil and vinegar salad dressing in the same way again.

2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender

In this wistful novel, Aimee Bender gives us a glimpse of what the world would be like for someone with a magical gift of taste. The main character, Rose Edelstein, discovers at the age of nine that she can taste her mother’s emotions through a slice of homemade lemon cake.

So begins a lifetime of being able to read how people feel through the food they prepare. And it’s a blessing that’s more of a curse for Rose, as she learns how to love even while knowing people’s darkest secrets.

It’s a book with a light touch and the descriptions of Rose’s tasting processes make it a real treat for anyone who likes to savour every word.

3. Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef – Gabrielle Hamilton

For a sneak peek into the kitchen of a reluctant chef, there are few books more enlightening than ‘Blood, Bones & Butter’. Gabrielle has been in and out of a lot of very different kitchen environments over the years, so you can expect a tour through Europe before she settles in her New York City restaurant.

This meaty memoir has some really lovely writing about cooking and enjoying food, but it’s also an interesting and unusual story of one woman’s journey into the restaurant business. This isn’t your traditional foodie bio, but it’s possibly all the better for it.

4. Bread and Jam for Frances – Russell Hoban

Most children go through a ‘fussy eater’ stage, but give them this book to enjoy the next time you’ve got a train journey ahead and you might see a change in their behaviour.

It’s a charming story about Frances and her refusal to eat anything other than bread and jam. But when her mother decides to serve her nothing but jam sandwiches, she soon starts to see the error of her ways.

Beautifully illustrated by Lillian Hoban, this cute book for ages four and over is sure to help picky eaters broaden their food horizons.

5. Hungry The Stars and Everything – Emma Jane Unsworth

The power of taste to bring back childhood memories is something everyone is familiar with but in this novel, the concept is given a whole new recipe.

Food critic Helen is going through the motions until she’s sent to review a mysterious new restaurant called Bethel. There, she’s served a thirteen-course meal, each course taking her back to a different point in her history.

The food is lovingly described and the book has a romantic, quirky charm, making it perfect for nibbling on during train journeys.

Have you read any good books about food or cooking recently? Tweet or Facebook us and let us know ….

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