The 2009 Seattle Edible Book Festival: Reading Your Cake and Eating it Too?

My friend Cindy is already thinking about her entry for this year’s Edible Book Festival, which will take place on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, 4649 Sunnyside Ave North.  What is an Edible Book, you say?  Well, according to the ground rules, “An Edible Book can look like a book, pun on a title, refer to a character, or just have something to do with books– whatever the inspiration, it must be edible.”  My favorites from past years include

·        War and Peeps

·        The Unbearable Lightness of Bean

·        100 Spears of Solitude

·        Remembrance of Things Pasta

·        The Elements of Style

·        Are You Bare Bun?  It’s Me, Margarine

It’s a fundraiser for the Seattle Center for Book Arts, so put your aprons on and find a way to edibilize (yes, I just made that word up) your favorite book.

If you’re looking for inspiration, consider these book recommendations from the Friends’ Board meeting in March; just click on the links below to get to the SPL site to reserve your copy of these books.   Book review excerpts are reprinted with permission from Booklist.  

Heirloom:  Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer, by Tim Stark.  This down to earth and back to basics books may appeal to many in today’s tough economy.  It’s the true story of an amateur farmer who starts growing tomatoes in his apartment in Brooklyn and ends up moving back to his boyhood home in Pennsylvania to raise tomatoes that are sought after at New York City’s greenmarkets.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.  “Fourteen-year-old Arnold Spirit, a Spokane Indian, decides to leave the res and attend a predominantly white high school, making a daring, possibly desperate choice to grasp his future and step away from his culture, identity, and familiar life. The idiosyncratic first-person voice that Alexie creates for Arnold is the most distinctive feature of this alternately harrowing and funny semiautobiographical novel.” Kristi Elle Jemtegaard

I See You Everywhere, by Julia Glass.  In her third exquisite, piercing novel, National Book Award winner Glass juxtaposes the temperamentally opposite Jardine sisters. Analytical, cautious Louisa is destined to become an art critic and gallery owner. Reckless, sensual Clem is drawn to the wild and becomes a field biologist dedicated to protecting endangered species. While Louisa seeks marriage and motherhood, Clem catches and releases a stream of lovers. As the two women struggle for their place in the world, they embody archetypal struggles between nature and civilization, self and society.” Donna Seaman

The Devil’s Highway:  A True Story, by Luis Alberto Urrea.  So many illegal immigrants die in the desert Southwest of the U.S. that only notorious catastrophes make headlines. Urrea reconstructs one such incident in the Sonoran Desert, the ordeal of sun and thirst of two dozen men in May 2001, half of whom suffered excruciating deaths. . . .  The imaginative license Urrea takes, paralleling the laconic facts of the case that he incorporates into his narrative, produces a powerful, almost diabolical impression of the disaster and the exploitative conditions at the border. Urrea shows immigration policy on the human level.”  Gilbert Taylor

The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, by Jonathan Alter.  “As the generation that endured the Great Depression passes on, it is essential to be reminded what this nation faced as FDR assumed office in 1933. At a minimum, a quarter of the workforce was unemployed. The threat of mass violence loomed as secure families saw their life savings wiped out. . . . Alter recounts the flurry of the first 100 days of FDR’s administration, which forever altered the relationship between American citizens and the federal government. This superbly researched and well-written work serves as a vital reminder of the importance of leadership during this great national ordeal.” Jay Freeman. 


Note that Jonathan Alter will be presenting the Seattle Public Library’s 2009 A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History at Town Hall on Monday, March 23 from 7:00 to 9:00.  For more information, click here for the Library’s calendar of events and classes.




One thought on “The 2009 Seattle Edible Book Festival: Reading Your Cake and Eating it Too?

  1. Pingback: Gardening News, Tips and Ideas» My friend Cindy is already thinking about her entry for this

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