Fall has come and with it, the cold temperatures of Minnesota. I've turned the heat on and off and on again and I've decided I'm really going to miss the sun. I'm rebelling by not wearing socks until the snow comes. September was a good month. I didn't feature an author because I wanted to focus on the beginning of school and my own personal writing. I actually wrote over 10 poems last month and I entered another contest. I'm feeling good.
I'm also feeling really happy and excited about this month's author. I met J.Ryan Stradal at Subtext books in St. Paul and he is super nice guy. I discovered he grew up in the town next door to me in Hastings, Minnesota so I knew I had to feature him and his awesome new book: Kitchen of the Great Midwest. It is getting rave reviews and everyone is talking about this book. I'm so excited to read it.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
“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
“Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a terrific reminder of what can be wrested from suffering and struggle – not only success, but also considerable irony, a fair amount of wisdom and a decent meal.”—Jane Smiley, The Guardian
As seen on The Skimm: "Warning: this will make you hungry. . . . You won’t be able to put it down. And it will up your kitchen game."
Kitchens of the Great Midwest, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer’s most hotly-anticipated debut.
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. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter—starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.
Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.
Have a great month of reading!