‘TIS THE SEASON TO READ and TASTE
By this time of year most published authors have set in motion the marketing they plan to do during the Holidays. The computer keyboards are given a rest. However, reading must continue so that we can continue to develop our writing skills and make ourselves aware of the genres, styles, and voices the reading public is placing on their bookshelves. For the month of November, I will highlight four genres that continue to hold strong positions in local and online bookstores. Even though they may not be your favorites, I recommend that you at least take a look at them, turn the “look inside” pages, and consider what is to be learned from these authors that will benefit your writing.
November is a month filled with the preparations of “traditional” recipes for all to enjoy—which carries over into all the December holiday celebrations. The images of on each page of Recipe Books are sharp, illustrating the taste, smell and texture of each delicious item. And, often, there is a story of when, where, and why a specific recipe was created.
For the passionate cook (and writer) I am highlighting GRANDMA’S FAVORITES: A Compilation of Recipes from Margaret Sanders Buell. This collection has been loving put together by three of Margaret’s granddaughters and speaks to the legacy she has left in them and for them to pass forward. What they experienced as they walked into their Grandmother’s kitchen was the “twinkle in her eye” and the extra ingredient of love that went into every meal. Margaret’s home and hospitality was always open to family, friends and even total strangers.
This 383 page book has received 5-star ratings because of its excellent, easy-to-follow recipe directions, its Holiday “magic,” as well as its elements of humor and entertainment.
For those of us who are looking for a smaller collection of Holiday recipes, grab this little book: Mom’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Best by Robert Maxwell.
These ninety pages offer “top-secret” cooking tips for those of us who need/want to create something marvelous within a short span of time—especially when the unexpected invitation to a Holiday Pot-Luck is received.
I also like Mr. Maxwell’s subtitle: Bob’s in the Kitchen. It immediately speaks to his gentlemen audience while, at the same time, acknowledging Mom in the title resonates with both women and men. Knowing your audience is a key component for every writer and should be considered from the very moment we begin writing our next books.
So, you’re not into cooking? Why should you read any cookbook? Yes, I can hear you, and believe me, I said that, too, when I was told to “pick up a few recipe books at the used book store and read them.” This quote comes from my science fiction author and friend who explained that when he needed to create “meals” for his “other worldly” characters, he went hunting through his cookbook pages for the most exotic foods. Then he searched the internet for images of those various ingredients and eventually combined several (that in reality should never be combined), to create his aliens’ favorite foods. He also instructed me to “always save the story-recipes to a specific file, both on the computer and on a flash-drive.” Every detail used in one story can be re-purposed in the next one.
I’ve also come to learn that finding the right words to describe taste, smell, and texture of foods is not naturally intuitive for me. If I want the Readers of my books to experience what I’m writing, learning about the qualities of foods and ingredients is essential.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted saying, “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” So it is my friends, that I encourage you to pick a delicious meal (book) and let it nourish you! ⚓︎