100 books like The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

By Jennifer 8. Lee,

Here are 100 books that The Fortune Cookie Chronicles fans have personally recommended if you like The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

Chinese American food has a rich history, and Andrew Coe explores the arrival of the cuisine in America, how it adapts, and how it is popularized across the country. The book focuses on restaurant culture and recipes, and Coe explains the origins of many dishes like chop suey and how and when the dishes grew into mainstream success, part of a broader American cuisine. The way Coe discusses Chinese American food is similar to how I write about Italian American food in my book. 

By Andrew Coe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Chop Suey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1784, passengers on the ship Empress of China became the first Americans to land in China, and the first to eat Chinese food. Today, the United States is home to more Chinese restaurants than any other ethnic cuisine. In this authoritative new history, author Andrew Coe traces the fascinating story of America's centuries-long encounter with Chinese food. CHOP SUEY tells how we went from believing that Chinese meals contained dogs and rats to making
regular pilgrimages to the neighborhood chop suey parlor. From China, the book follows the story to the American West, where both Chinese and their food…


Book cover of How Italian Food Conquered the World

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

Food inspired by the traditions of Italy are well known around the world, and Mariani examines how the nation had an outsized impact on global food culture. Once considered an unsophisticated cuisine better known for macaroni or pizza, Mariani argues Italian food has since displaced French cuisine as the quintessential example of haute dining culture. His discussion of Italian food history largely centers how it disseminated globally. He discusses Italian American foods, but as part of the whole rather than as a distinct cuisine onto itself.    

By John F. Mariani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Italian Food Conquered the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not so long ago, Italian food was regarded as a poor man's gruel - little more than pizza, macaroni with sauce, and red wines in a box. Here, John Mariani shows how the Italian immigrants to America created, through perseverance and sheer necessity, an Italian-American food culture, and how it became a global obsession. The book begins with the Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern culinary traditions before the boot-shaped peninsula was even called 'Italy,' then takes readers on a journey through Europe and across the ocean to America alongside the poor but hopeful Italian immigrants who slowly but surely won…


Book cover of Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

The Jewish-style delicatessen is one of the great gifts to food enthusiasts. Merwin’s extensive history details how Jewish immigrant cuisine arrived in America and evolved from an object of ethnic foreignness into part of mainstream culture. There are a large number of parallels between Jewish immigrant and Italian immigrant experiences, especially centered on food in places like New York City’s Lower East Side, where both groups congregated. Merwin mixes in pop cultural references alongside deep research. My favorite detail Merwin revealed was that by 1926, New York City had more than 900 different sandwich combinations.

By Ted Merwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pastrami on Rye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity from the Jewish Book Council
The history of an iconic food in Jewish American culture
For much of the twentieth century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life. As a social space it rivaled-and in some ways surpassed-the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. In popular culture it has been the setting for classics like When Harry Met Sally. And today, after a long period languishing in the trenches of the hopelessly old-fashioned, it is…


Book cover of My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

Corner grocery stores are everywhere in New York City, but most of the time we never really think very hard about them. Ben Ryder Howe on the other hand, drew on his own experience running the family bodega. The store he ran was on the border between a rapidly gentrifying section of Brooklyn and a neighborhood with public housing. The changing customer base meant his store shelves began to gentrify like the neighborhood around him, but as he soon learned, too many changes too quickly are bad for business. Part memoir, part researched journalism, Ryder Howe provides a fascinating look into a New York City staple. 

By Ben Ryder Howe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Korean Deli as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It starts with a gift, when Ben Ryder Howe's wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents' self-sacrifice by buying them a store. Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, agrees to go along. Things soon become a lot more complicated. After the business struggles, Howe finds himself living in the basement of his in-laws' Staten Island home, commuting to the Paris Review offices in George Plimpton's Upper East Side townhouse by day, and heading to Brooklyn at night to slice cold cuts and peddle lottery tickets. "My Korean Deli" follows the store's tumultuous life span,…


Book cover of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Wendy Kenny Author Of Sik-Sik's Summer: An Arctic Ground Squirrel Tale

From my list on reads to your kids that you'll also enjoy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved reading my whole life. So when I became a mom, I started reading to my kids pretty much as soon as they came home from the hospital. They absolutely love to have books read to them, and we have shelves full of picture books. My favorite picture books to read out loud are ones with eye-catching illustrations, witty stories that spark imagination or learning, and rhymes that flow rhythmically. As a bonus, if the characters lend themselves to fun voices, those are always winners. I hope you enjoy reading these books to your kids as much as I do.

Wendy's book list on reads to your kids that you'll also enjoy

Wendy Kenny Why did Wendy love this book?

I can’t think of this book without picturing my own little girl when she was 3 years old with pigtails sticking out, just like Amy Wu.

She and I read this over and over again to the point that she could quote the whole book. It is such a sweet story about family traditions and pushing through the challenge it can be for little hands to learn how to do something new.

The story is precious and the illustrations are delightful.

By Kat Zhang, Charlene Chua (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019

Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion?

Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong.

Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance...Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?


Book cover of Grandpa Grumps

Robyn McGrath Author Of There's Always Room for One More

From my list on helping children connect with their grandparents.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and child therapist, I believe in the importance of connecting with our families. Sometimes that means making sacrifices for our loved ones who need our support. When my parents moved to be near our family, we learned how to adapt to their changing needs. Like the books I choose, sometimes a grandparent moves in with you, sometimes you navigate them being grumpy, or other times you just listen to their wishes. But mostly, it’s just being there in the moment with a grandparent that opens our eyes, and heart, to something larger than ourselves.

Robyn's book list on helping children connect with their grandparents

Robyn McGrath Why did Robyn love this book?

If you know a grumpy grandpa, you’ll enjoy this one!

Daisy is thrilled her grandpa is visiting from China. While Daisy has many fun things planned, her grandpa is well… grumpy! He likes things a certain way and Daisy can’t dissuade him otherwise. (I can relate to that!) That is, until she discovers what he really likes and helps make him feel right at home.

A fabulous picture book that explores connection and fosters an understanding of others.

By Katrina Moore, Xindi Yan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grandpa Grumps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Daisy's Yeh-Yeh is visiting from China, and try as she might, Daisy can't get her grumpy grandpa to smile!

Daisy's Yeh-Yeh is visiting for the first time from China, and Daisy is so excited to meet him! She has big plans for all the fun they'll have together, like tea parties and snow angels, but when Yeh-Yeh arrives, Daisy finds him less jolly than she imagined. Throughout the week, she tries all sorts of things to get him past his grumpiness. Will she be able to make him smile before he goes home?

Kids will love this funny and heartwarming…


Book cover of The Wok: Recipes and Techniques

Sam Ita Author Of Fun with Origami Animals Kit: 40 Different Animals! Includes Colorfully Patterned Folding Sheets!

From my list on creative dads.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my kids were toddlers, there was a Burger King in the neighborhood with an indoor playground. It was glorious. A random guy walked up to me while we were there. “How do you do it, you know, the whole Dad thing” he asked. "Well… you don’t necessarily need to do a whole lot. Mostly just show up. Stick around." Never mentioned that by this time, I’d written and/or illustrated at least a couple dozen children’s books. I asked my nine-year-old daughter how she’d describe me as a Dad. “Most people think you’re creative, but I think you’re pretty average.” That’s good enough for me.

Sam's book list on creative dads

Sam Ita Why did Sam love this book?

We’re not all cut out to work a nine-to-five, but any man can learn to stir-fry.

Cooking with a Wok is instantly gratifying, and Dad friendly. Kenji’s book is full of solid recipes, providing a solid foundation to improvise. Starting with the very basics, he goes further into the details as they come up. Don’t have oyster sauce? Try Worcestershire. Cooking offers endless opportunities to be creative and a semi-captive audience. At least when they're hungry. With practice, you can have a pretty good Chinese restaurant in your kitchen 24/7. 

By J. Kenji Lopez-Alt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wok as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's debut cookbook, The Food Lab, revolutionised home cooking, selling more than half a million copies with its science-based approach to everyday foods. For fast, fresh cooking for his family, there's one pan Lopez-Alt reaches for more than any other: the wok.

Whether stir-frying, deep frying, steaming, simmering or braising, the wok is the most versatile pan in the kitchen. Once you master the basics?the mechanics of a stir-fry and how to get smoky wok hei at home?you're ready to cook home-style and restaurant-style dishes from across Asia and the West, from Kung Pao Chicken to Pad Thai…


Book cover of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Linda Åkeson McGurk Author Of There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)

From my list on parenting secrets from other cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Swedish American journalist, blogger, and author whose writings about Scandinavian parenting culture have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online publications across the world, including Time.com, Parents.com, and Green Child Magazine. I’m particularly interested in the role of nature in childhood and believe the best memories are created outside, while jumping in puddles, digging in dirt, catching bugs and climbing trees. In 2013, I started the blog Rain or Shine Mamma to inspire other parents and caregivers to get outside with their children every day, regardless of the weather. I’m currently working on my second book, about the Nordic outdoor tradition friluftsliv, which will be published by Tarcher Perigee in 2022.

Linda's book list on parenting secrets from other cultures

Linda Åkeson McGurk Why did Linda love this book?

Chua set off an international firestorm with her memoir, a frank account of the trials and tribulations of raising her two daughters the Chinese way in the U.S. Her strict, achievement-oriented parenting tactics often run counter to mainstream Western ideals about raising children and have drawn harsh criticism from many readers. Whether you agree with her methods or not, it’s impossible not to be touched by Chua’s book. 

By Amy Chua,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER: the most talked-about book of the year 'Blissfully funny' India Knight, Sunday Times 'Entertaining, bracingly honest and, yes, thought-provoking' New York Times 'A treat from first to last: ruefully funny, endlessly self-deprecating, riven with ironies .. I relished this memoir' I Updated with a new postscript by Amy Chua and a letter from her eldest daughter, Sophia Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western…


Book cover of Thank You, Mr. Nixon: Stories

May-lee Chai Author Of Tomorrow in Shanghai: Stories

From my list on Asian American short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was growing up, I longed to see myself and my family represented in ways that were not demeaning. Hollywood movies showed Asian women as passive victims or hypersexualized “dragon ladies.” Depictions of Asian men were even fewer—they were mostly the enemy soldiers in the background of movies about the American war in Vietnam. I became a writer to try to correct these grossly flattened stereotypes. I am now the author of 11 books, and recipient of an American Book Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book, and Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman.

May-lee's book list on Asian American short story collections

May-lee Chai Why did May-lee love this book?

The stories in Thank You, Mr. Nixon combine history and family, characters reflecting on the ravages of time and how their lives have been buffeted by world events outside their control. There’s even a ghost of a Chinese girl writing from the afterlife to President Nixon in Hell. She thanks him for his historic decision to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, a decision that changed her family’s life forever. The story is profound, moving, and very funny all at once. Jen is a master of the short story form, and this collection is superb.

By Gish Jen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thank You, Mr. Nixon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The acclaimed, award-winning author of The Resisters takes measure of the fifty years since the opening of China and its unexpected effects on the lives of ordinary people. It is a unique book that only Jen could write—a story collection accruing the power of a novel as it proceeds—a work that Cynthia Ozick has called “an art beyond art. It is life itself.”

Beginning with a cheery letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Gish Jen embarks on a fictional journey through U.S.-China relations, capturing the excitement of a world on the brink…


Book cover of Empire of Glass

Isham Cook Author Of The Mustachioed Woman of Shanghai

From my list on written by foreigners in China.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having lived in China for almost three decades, I am naturally interested in the expat writing scene. I am a voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction on China, past and present. One constant in this country is change, and that requires keeping up with the latest publications by writers who have lived here and know it well. As an author of three novels, one short story collection, and three essay collections on China myself, I believe I have something of my own to contribute of documentary value, although I tend to hew to gritty, offbeat themes to capture a contemporary China unknown to the West.

Isham's book list on written by foreigners in China

Isham Cook Why did Isham love this book?

The experience of being a teenage exchange student living with a Beijing family whose mother is dying of cancer and whose father makes an aborted sexual pass on her marked Solimine deeply enough to inspire this novel. The author wisely shifts the focus away from herself and adopts the role of frame narrator as she reconstructs the family’s history and events leading up to her arrival, where she inserts herself into the story. The narrative unfolds in flashbacks, impressionistic vignettes, and haunting poetic imagery to capture fleeting moments which build in intensity. It’s the kind of novel readers may not find easygoing on first acquaintance – the cracked-glass cover design nicely conveys the initial impression – but promises to improve on rereading.

By Kaitlin Solimine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Empire of Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Short-listed for the Center for Fiction's 2017 First Novel Prize, Empire of Glass is a grand, experimental epic chronicling the seismic changes in China over the last half century.
In the mid-1990s, an American teenager, named Lao K in Chinese, stands on Coal Hill, a park in Beijing, a loop of rope in her hand. Will she assist her Chinese homestay mother, Li-Ming, who is dying of cancer, in ending her life, or will she choose another path? Twenty years later, Lao K receives a book written by Li-Ming called "Empire of Glass," a narrative that chronicles the lives of…


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