HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Cookbook Collector: A Novel by Allegra…
Loading...

The Cookbook Collector: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Allegra Goodman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
970658,895 (3.52)47
Member:mdplante
Title:The Cookbook Collector: A Novel
Authors:Allegra Goodman
Info:The Dial Press (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 47 mentions

English (64)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I powered through to the end for bookclub but I never would have bothered if it hadn't been bookclub. I hate pretty much every character and the various plot lines were boring and completely unbelievable. The dot.com stuff just felt all wrong and everything was just a caricature of real people and real lives. Throw in some random September 11th and various overwrought family revelations and tie it all up in a marriage bow. Ugh.
  amyem58 | Jul 16, 2014 |
We need to stop this thing where every woman who writes a serious book that includes family and personal relationships is automatically called a "modern Jane Austen." Not only does it undervalue the true brilliance of Austen's novels, which have rarely, if ever, been matched, but it also strikes me as kind of sexist. It's a knee-jerk comparison that isn't very thoughtful. "Look! A lady writer! Like Jane Austen!" No.

This is not Jane Austen. It follows relationships, sure. But Jane Austen wrote about manners and society, and she did it in a way that got her point across while (and this is the important part) being completely readable and engaging. Jane Austen could make you care about the most ridiculous characters. She wanted you to care. If you didn't, you wouldn't get the point.

Allegra Goodman, on the other hand, seemed to be almost daring me to care about this story and these characters. They wallowed in their human weakness, or wandered aimlessly through life, or worked very hard not to make decisions, or consciously did things despite the hurt it would cause the people they cared about. Or were supposed to care about. These are all very legitimate literary choices, but they distanced me from the characters. It made it hard to care, which just left the story and the writing itself. The story is meandering. It's entirely character driven for 75% of the book, and then at the end we get a very convenient convergence of characters. Behold! They're all connected after all! It felt cheap. And as for the writing, it didn't feel particularly beautiful or special. At least to me. It felt like I was having a conversation with someone who is pretty smart, and who knows it. And not only does she know, she's determined to show me, over and over again. It felt like performance when what I want as a reader is effortlessness. It takes more skill.

So, this is not the book for me. But Allegra Goodman is a critical darling. If that's a thing that matters to you, go for it. What do I know anyway? ( )
  librarymeg | Jun 20, 2014 |
A friend of mine loaned me the book as she knew I loved books about food and cooking. But as I discovered, the title is somewhat misleading. Oh there are cookbooks in there, an astounding collection of priceless historic cookbooks in fact, passages on which were totally fascinating and absorbing.

The trouble is this is only one of a virtual smorgasbord of themes which in the end left me feeling as bloated as if I’d over-indulged in a sampling of the cookbook recipes. There’s the Jewish theme, the dot.com theme, the 9/11 theme, the lost family connection theme, the sisterly tension theme, the tree saving theme, the materialism versus down home values theme and probably heaps more I missed.

There was remarkable consistency about the characterisation in this book. I’m sure this wasn’t the intention but I found myself wishing each and every one of them had ended upon on the ill fated plane on 9/11, rather than just a couple. In particular the two main female characters, the sisters, supposedly so contrasting in personalities, values, goals etc. that they would ultimately complement and bring out the best in each other, were unbearably irritating and one dimensional. In particular the flaky, tree hugging, self-righteously vegan Jess, who despite her schoolgirlish naiveté and total inability to do much more than flaunt her half-formed philosophical opinions to anyone who can’t escape, has the ultra-cool mega-rich man about town cookbook buyer (a heart breaker from way back because he can’t find the perfect woman) falling at her feet by the end of the book.

But enough about what I didn’t like. I did enjoy the cookbook parts even though they were too sparse given the book’s title and I did keep reading. So I admit I hung in there for the star-crossed lovers (two couples in this case) to finally fall into each other’s arms. But that’s just me. ( )
  Anne_Green | Apr 23, 2014 |
The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman was our most recent book club selection that was discussed yesterday. We were all in agreement that it was just sort of "blah".



This is the story of motherless sisters, the older Emily, driven and ambitious is the self-appointed nurturer to younger Jess, a college student and free spirit. Emily's company just went public, is selling stock and she's making a fortune. Jess works part-time at a bookstore and is falling in love with a tree-saving activist. Emily's boyfriend Jonathan is also driven but ruthless towards achieving success. George, the owner of the bookstore where Jess works is an unapologetic bibliophile, a connoisseur of fine things who bristles with Jess's irresponsible attitude.



These two sisters are at the core of the story, however it branches off into different directions where they eventually drop off and aren't mentioned again. We were all in agreement that this book had too many loose ends and perhaps had the author committed to fewer ideas it might have made for a better read.



Another complaint from the group was that none of the characters were all that likable this made for difficultly connecting with them in order to want to continue reading. What I did like is that it took place in Berkeley which is for me is local as well as the sections about the bookstore were the best scenes for me. I wanted this book to be better and feel it had the potential but was unfortunately a disappointing mess. ( )
  missjomarch | Mar 10, 2014 |
One of those books that grabs hold of me and won't let go - I read most over one weekend. The characters are interesting and unique and feel like real people, and the story is engaging. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Goodman captures the fizz and folly of the dot.com boom with wit and perspicuity...
added by bell7 | editBooklist, Donna Seaman
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Rain at last. Much-needed rain, the weathermen called it. Rain drummed the little houses skyrocketing in value in Cupertino and Sunnyvale.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"...a novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can't find what we're looking for..." --inside cover.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
553 wanted
2 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.52)
0.5
1 4
1.5 2
2 23
2.5 9
3 83
3.5 34
4 88
4.5 18
5 29

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,601,935 books! | Top bar: Always visible