2021 Reading List

Food, memories and emotions are closely linked in our brains. A taste of something can transport you to another time and place, or maybe you avoid certain foods based on past experiences or connections. In addition to cooking, I also enjoy reading about cooking because everyone approaches it in different ways: through passion, survival, nostalgia, or luck. My friend taught a culinary writing course at Portland State University recently, and many of the food memoirs I read in 2021 are included in the course reading.

food memoirs

  1. Americanah (2013) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010) by Michelle Alexander
  3. The Vanishing Half (2020) by Brit Bennett
  4. Maman’s Homesick Pie: a Persian Heart in an American Kitchen (2011) by Donia Bijan
  5. Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field (2020) by Howard Bryant
  6. Parable of the Sower (1993) by Octavia Butler
  7. My Life in France (2006) by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme
  8. Between the World and Me (2015) by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  9. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016) by Matthew Desmond
  10. Not “A Nation of Immigrants”: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion (2021) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  11. Blood, Bones & Butter: the Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (2011) by Gabrielle Hamilton
  12. Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) by Zora Neale Hurston
  13. Tell My Horse (1938) by Zora Neale Hurston
  14. Klara and the Sun (2021) by Kazuo Ishiguro
  15. The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran (2014) by Jennifer Klinec
  16. The Secrets of Bones (2020) by Kylie Logan
  17. Finders Keepers (1998) by Fern Michaels
  18. Circe (2018) by Madeline Miller
  19. Homesick For Another World (2017) by Ottessa Moshfegh
  20. Hamnet (2021) by Maggie O’Farrell
  21. Notes from a Young Black Chef (2019) by Kwame Onwuachi
  22. The Sanatorium (2021) by Sarah Pearse
  23. The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act (2016) by Alex Prud’Homme
  24. The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (2006) by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff
  25. Green River, Running Red (2004) by Ann Rule
  26. The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay (2019) by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman
  27. The Light Between Oceans (2012) by M.L. Stedman
  28. When the Ivory Towers Were Black: a Story About Race in America’s Cities and Universities (2017) by Sharon Egretta Sutton
  29. Why Bob Dylan Matters (2016) by Richard Thomas
  30. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking (2013) by Anya von Bremzen
  31. Sharks in the Time of Saviors (2020) by Kawai Strong Washburn
  32. Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion (1998) by Gary Webb
  33. Harlem Shuffle (2021) by Colson Whitehead
  34. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (2020) by Isabel Wilkerson
  35. Robot Uprisings (2014) edited by Daniel Wilson and John Joseph Adams
  36. Crying in H Mart (2021) by Michelle Zauner

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