I don’t know about you, but I was raised to believe that we have to be very careful with food around our books. What if it spills?! What if it stains?! What if we somehow drop the book in a plate of spaghetti?! So, when I read, it’s a cup of tea, placed just barely within reach, and a nice window or warm blanket nearby dependent upon the season. Of course, my need to avoid the noms gets entirely derailed when certain books make me hungry. It’s possible that my “no food while reading” rule may occasionally be broken for some of the below titles!
9 Books That Will Make You Hungry
1. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
It’s in the name. It’s on the cover. This books is about Pho! But that’s not the only Vietnamese food that Loan Le talks about in this book. This adorable romance about two teen whose families own rival Pho restaurants will warm your heart and have you immediately ordering from your nearest Vietnamese restaurant.
2. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents, on the other hand. When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 am at the bodega, they bond over a shared love of snacks and, absurd as it is, they may become A Thing because of it. Full of modern classics, snack throwbacks, and an appreciation for the best bagels and tacos you can find, this book had my stomach growling from the very beginning.
3. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life. Mystery book aficionado Birdie cannot pass this opportunity up, and Daniel can never pass up a good adventure. In their pursuit to find the truth behind his identity, they often find themselves frequenting the Moonlight Diner and appreciating its myriad of delicious and unique pies. I demand a recipe book this instant!
4. Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond
If looking at that cover alone doesn’t make your mouth water, let me tell you about this delicious story collection: a series of interconnected short stories from many beloved authors explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens. From the family pasteleria to magical soup dumplings and life-changing butter, this book will make you feel so, so many feels and give you a new appreciate for food. Food can take on so many meanings beyond nourishment… it can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.
5. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been managed exclusively by local girls, and it’s Amelia’s turn to be Head Girl. However, when Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives to help, change comes along with him. A book that takes place in a beloved ice cream parlor? Sign me up! The Meade Creamery would be all over summery Instagram posts.
6. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Lina is spending a summer in Italy which quickly turns into a road trip across Tuscany to get to know her absentee father as it is her mother’s dying wish. Following in her mother footsteps from when she lived in Italy, she uncovers a world of romance, art, and charming hidden bakeries. You see, people go to Italy for love and gelato, but sometimes they discover so much more about themselves. And, of the utmost importance, one of those things is that gelato and ice cream are two separate things that are both absolutely fabulous and must never be mislabeled.
7. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once? Lara Jean Song’s life is about to get super complicated after all of the letters she has hidden away in a hatbox to the boys she has loved before suddenly get mailed out. While the Song sisters are known to make your stomach grumble with their relatable penchant for loving sugar, you also get introduced to their Korean heritage in this amazing romantic comedy. Plus, the Netflix film made sure that we would never looked at a bowl of popcorn the same way again.
8. American Panda by Gloria Chao
A laugh-out-loud debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate. At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but she is well on her parents’ master plan of attending college at MIT early, becoming a doctor, marrying a fellow Taiwanese-American, and producing a litter of babies. The only problem is she doesn’t want to be a doctor, she likes a Japanese classmate, and babies are nowhere in her near future. While Mei learns to discover who she really is, one thing will remain the same: her love of dumplings that will very quickly become your love of dumplings, too.
9. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all. As the girls travel from city to city across the world, they eat so many great dishes from many cultures.