Choosing What to Read is Like Planning A Well Balanced Meal…

Books on a Plate 2

Just like how each course offers something different, from big flavors to palate cleansers, savory and sweet, nutritious and decadent, and something to wash it all down… each book brings it own flavor, individual charm and unique bit of satisfaction.

Feast on this…

I love food in the way I love books, many different kinds and lots of it! Here are my recommendations for a well balanced feast of books to add to your shelf!

Start With a Cocktail!

Kick it off with something that gives you a buzz, like the bizarre and entertaining Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky, the lively and funny Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson, or the tragic yet joyous Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron.

Buzzy books

Or go for something strong that gets you energized like All In by Billie Jean King, or gets your blood pumping like Reef Road by Deborah Goodrich Royce.


Enjoy an appetizer, a tasty, smaller portion. Choose something shorter that packs a meaningful punch, whets the whistle and makes you want more, like:

An almost love story in The Tin Man by Sarah Winman or mother/daughter loss in The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka.

Short books

If you enjoy a big salad as your main course, try something substantial like Picture in the Sand by Peter Blauner, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge, Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro, Still Life by Sarah Winman or Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour.

meaty books

For a hearty protein, something to sink your teeth into that is meaty and filling, choose Once We Were Home by Jennifer Rosner, The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, Honor by Thrity Umrigar, Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy, Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan or The Foundling by Ann Leary.

meaty books 2

And don’t forget the vegetables, something nourishing and enriching to contribute to brain cells, like:

Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe, Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker, Next by Joanne Lipman, My Father’s Brain by Sandeep Jauhar or Rogues by Patrick Radden Keefe

book covers

Don’t miss the beloved starch; addictive and compelling:

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks Dalton, Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau, Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid or The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

book covers - Light Pirate

If you want second helpings, and I often do, enjoy a double dose by reading these wonderful novels from well loved authors:

This is How it Always Is and One Two Three by Laurie Frankel,

laurie Frankel

Dear Edward and Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano,

Ann Napolitano

Exit West and The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid.

Mohsin Hamid

I always treat myself to dessert, something something sweet and satisfying. Try Nora Goes off Script by Annabel Monaghan and be on the lookout for her new novel, Same Time Next Summer. Enjoy The Guncle by Steven Rowley and his new one available May 30th, The Celebrants. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni or Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde all hit the spot!

book covers - Nora Goes off Script

Most nights, the last thing I do before heading to bed is to indulge in a little junk food – nothing wrong with making some time for Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us and It Starts With Us, Verity, Heartbones or some fun and games, The Puzzler by AJ Jacobs.

book covers

Celebrity memoirs can be a guilty pleasure too, like Hello Molly by Molly Shannon or Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry.

book covers

At this point, it is clear that I am a genre hopper who enjoys all kinds of books as well as well balanced meals! I would love to know… what’s on your plate?

Book Nation by Jen


  1. Love this post! The creative way of combining my two favorite things-food and books was clever. Thanks for this well-written post and book suggestions.

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