The best heartwarming foodie books to cozy up with this winter

Why am I passionate about this?

I wrote my first mystery in second grade, thinking I was writing a page-turning thriller when in reality I penned a sweet, little cozy where everything turns out okay in the end and everyone always has a cup of hot chocolate and a vanilla cookie in hand. Somehow, I’ve managed to turn my love of baking and writing into a long-term career. With over 30 mysteries and counting I’m not sure if I’m going to run out of recipes or ways to kill someone off first. 


I wrote...

Muffin But the Truth

By Ellie Alexander,

Book cover of Muffin But the Truth

What is my book about?

Muffin But The Truth is the 16th book in the Bakeshop Mysteries featuring a romantic pastry chef who has returned home to her charming Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon to help run her family bakeshop, Torte and heal her broken heart when she happens to find herself mixed up in murder. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love

Ellie Alexander Why did I love this book?

This sweet gem is like a salve for any food-loving reader’s soul. I devoured it on a stormy weekend, curled up on my couch with a cup of tea and it has stayed with me ever since. The story is set in the 1960s and written entirely in letters between an aspiring food writer in LA and a food columnist in the Puget Sound. Who knew that you couldn’t find garlic in the grocery store back in the 60s or that a simple gift of saffron would lead to a lasting friendship. Love & Saffron is a tender novel about friendship and how food connects us. I have literally given this book to all of my friends. It will warm your heart and leave you hungry for more. 

By Kim Fay,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Love & Saffron as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Instant National Bestseller and #1 Indie Next Pick

In the vein of the classic 84, Charing Cross Road, this witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine.

When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter--as well as a gift of saffron--to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for…


Book cover of A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

Ellie Alexander Why did I love this book?

A food memoir with recipes? Or a cookbook with personal stories? I’m never quite sure where A Homemade Life falls in terms of genres, but honestly, I don’t care. Wherever it lands on the shelves, I’ll keep coming back to it. I stumbled up this book shortly after my mom died which didn’t feel like a coincidence. Everything about this story resonates with me—Molly’s grief of losing her father, her decision to do something radical and move to Paris to wander through the markets, noshing on croissants to heal and remember. Her timeless recipes will have you feeling like a professional chef and her ability to find solace in her darkest days in a slice of Hoosier pie or a scope of potato salad will fill you with hope. 

By Molly Wizenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Homemade Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in trade paperback, A Homemade Life is a memoir composed of recipes and stories from acclaimed blogger, Molly Wizenberg. Molly's fresh and modern recipes--sometimes decedent, sometimes healthful-- appeal to the growing number of people tired of the processed foods who have become passionate about the art of cooking and the joy of eating meals lovingly prepared with the best ingredients. But the book's appeal comes as much from the recipes as its truly remarkable writing. Wizenberg's food descriptions are luscious: Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Ricotta, Bourbon, and Orange Zest will always sound enticing, but when Molly describes how "the…


Book cover of Catering to Nobody

Ellie Alexander Why did I love this book?

This is the series that got me hooked on culinary mysteries and Diane Mott Davidson is the GOAT. If you’re looking for a cozy winter escape filled with food and a side of delectable murder, this is the book for you. Could you pick up any of the books in this long-running series, sure, but don’t do it—resist temptation. Start at the beginning when we meet Colorado caterer Goldy Bear as she whips up delicious sweet and savory eats while solving a murder. Trust me, you’ll thank me later because once you finish this book you’ll be running to the nearest bookstore for the next installment and running to your kitchen for a midnight snack.

By Diane Mott Davidson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Catering to Nobody as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

MEET THE CATERER WHO WHIPPED UP THE
MULTIMILLION-COPY MYSTERY SERIES–
AS GOLDY SOLVES HER FIRST MURDER!

Diane Mott Davidson’s winning recipe of first-class suspense and five-star fare has won her and caterer Goldy critical raves and a regular place on major bestseller lists across the country. In Goldy’s tantalizing debut, she serves up a savory dish of secrets, suspicions, and murder....

Catering a wake is not Goldy’s idea of fun. Yet the Colorado caterer throws herself into preparing a savory feast including Poached Salmon and Strawberry Shortcake Buffet designed to soothe forty mourners. And her culinary efforts seem to be…


Book cover of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Ellie Alexander Why did I love this book?

I dare you to read this book and not end up a teary, blubbering mess, in the best possible way. Kitchens of the Great Midwest is one of those stories that transported and transformed me. I never knew I needed to spend an afternoon in Minnesota learning how to prepare lutefisk, but after reading this book I can say without hesitation that my life is infinitely better for having done so. This brilliant feast of fiction centers around a young chef Eva who reconnects with her Midwest roots on her quest to find herself and her family in her food. It’s a coming-of-age story intertwined with characters, ingredients, and flavors that simmer together beautifully. 

By J. Ryan Stradal,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Kitchens of the Great Midwest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A sweet and savory treat.” —People

“An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu . . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are.”—The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Pick

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a novel about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. 
 
When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own.…


Book cover of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Ellie Alexander Why did I love this book?

Did I save the best for last? Maybe. If there is one story that proves that reading and food have the potential to save the world (or at least a small community) this is the book. This is always the book. I’ve read it a dozen times and it always satisfies. So much so that I’m taking a book pilgrimage to Guernsey this summer. If you haven’t read this novel (which I’m guessing, you probably have) I’m delighted that you get to travel back to wartime Germany and experience this masterpiece for the first time. This is the kind of story that will restore your faith in humanity and just may inspire you to bake a potato pie.  

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved, life-affirming international bestseller which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide - now a major film starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton 'I can't remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one ... Treat yourself to this book, please - I can't recommend it highly enough' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love To give them hope she must tell their story It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of…


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The Wonder of Jazz: Music that changed the world

By Sammy Stein,

Book cover of The Wonder of Jazz: Music that changed the world

Sammy Stein Author Of Fabulous Female Musicians

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been passionate about music for almost my entire life. Jazz music in particular speaks to me but not just jazz. I love music, full stop. I really discovered jazz when I attended a jazz club workshop in London and there, I had to join in or leave. I chose to join in and since then I have never looked back. I was introduced to more jazz musicians and now write about music for three major columns as well as Readers’ Digest. My Women In Jazz book won several awards. I have been International Editor for the Jazz Journalist Association and had my work commissioned by the Library of Congress. 

Sammy's book list on female musicians

What is my book about?

With input from over 100 musicians, the book discusses what exactly jazz is, and how you know you are listening to it. Do we truly know when and how jazz first originated? Who was the first jazz musician? How does jazz link to other genres? What about women in jazz? And writers and journalists? Do reviews make any difference? 

This book is a deep dive into jazz's history, impact, and future. It discusses jazz's social, cultural, and political influence and reveals areas where jazz has had an impact we may not even realize.Its influences on hip hop, the connection to…

The Wonder of Jazz: Music that changed the world

By Sammy Stein,

What is this book about?

This book is very different from other, more general jazz books. It is packed with information, advice, well researched and includes experiences from jazz musicians who gleefully add their rich voices to Sammy's in-depth research. All genres, from hard bop to be-bop, vocal jazz, must instrumental, free jazz, and everything between is covered in one way or another and given Sammy's forensic eye. There is social commentary and discussions of careers in jazz music. The musical background of those in the book is rich and diverse.
Critics comment:
"This new book by Sammy Stein is a highly individual take on…


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