The Cookbook Collector

By Allegra Goodman
(The Dial Press, Hardcover, 9780385340854, 416pp.)

Publication Date: July 6, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Hardcover, Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer '11 Reading Group List
“This novel seeped into me slowly, but ultimately I was as utterly absorbed in it as it was in me. Goodman skillfully mingles high-tech IPOs, motherless daughters, tree-sitting environmentalists, mystical Judaism, foodie sensuousness, and three distinct love stories - and all with none of the usual head-spinning associated with that list. I was rapt, and truly delighted.”
-- Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2010 Indie Next List


Description

Heralded as “a modern day Jane Austen” by USA Today, National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman has compelled and delighted hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, in her most ambitious work yet, Goodman weaves together the worlds of Silicon Valley and rare book collecting in a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and fulfillment.

Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily’s boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess’s boyfriends, not so much—as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.

Bicoastal, surprising, rich in ideas and characters, The Cookbook Collector is a novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can’t find what we’re looking for: reading cookbooks instead of cooking, speculating instead of creating, collecting instead of living. But above all it is about holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.




About the Author

Allegra Goodman’s novels include Intuition and Kaaterskill Falls. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Best American Short Stories. She is a winner of the Whiting Writer’s Award and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.AllegraGoodman.com or become a fan on Facebook.




NPR
Monday, Aug 16, 2010

Book reviews can be pretty liberal about comparing authors to Jane Austen, but here's a writer who actually lives up to that association. Allegra Goodman's The Cookbook Collector stars two sisters struggling to decide between wealth and virtue in dot-com-era California. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010

Contemporary authors have a habit of lazily shoplifting plots and characters from 19th-century fiction -- especially the works of Jane Austen. But even though Allegra Goodman's latest novel, The Cookbook Collector, is a modern riff on Sense and Sensibility, her homage quickly comes to have a glorious life of its own. More at NPR.org

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Praise For The Cookbook Collector

“If any contemporary author deserves to wear the mantle of Jane Austen, it’s [Allegra] Goodman, whose subtle, astute social comedies perfectly capture the quirks of human nature. This dazzling novel . . . is Goodman’s most robust, fully realized and trenchantly meaningful work yet.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Fans of Goodman's lovely, nuanced novels have a treat in store with this tale of two sisters."—Entertainment Weekly

"Goodman is remarkably successful in creating rich, engaging characters and a complex story of love and identity."
—Library Journal, starred review

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