November Books

By Brian Lampkin and Shannon Jones

We can tell that the food truck phenomenon has reached its zenith, because now you can buy prepackaged, microwave-ready “food truck” food — sometimes in boxes shaped like food trucks! Still, we love the very idea of food trucks, and Vivian Howard, the owner of the acclaimed Chef & Farmer restaurant in Kinston, North Carolina, has us thinking about food. And trucks. Is there a literary intersection? Can we find it? Without GPS?

Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, by Vivian Howard. Howard has embarked on a grand tour with her food truck, serving meals along with the wisdom (and more than 200 recipes from eastern North Carolina) she’s gained from her years in the restaurant business. “Part story, part history, part recipes, I’d like to think Deep Run Roots is much more than a cookbook,” Howard says.

Food Trucks!: A Lift-the-Flap Meal on Wheels!, by Jeffrey Burton. For a kid, there is nothing cooler than hitting a food truck with Mom and Dad, then plopping down right there on the curb to devour an overstuffed taco. Now foodies can go behind the scenes of their favorite food trucks with a fun board book: Lift the flaps to see what makes the food in different trucks so yummy, from fryers to griddles, from snow cone dispensers to ice cream freezers. Like its counterparts in real life, this book is a crowd-pleaser.

The World’s Best Street Food, by Lonely Planet, Mark Bittman, James Oseland and Austin Bush. Perfect for a small kitchen shelf, these recipes from street carts the world over are well-organized and easy to follow, authentic but with substitutions given for harder-to-find ingredients so that you can get started exploring the world’s best street food right in your own kitchen. This is a great gift for adventurers who delight in trying new world cuisines. 

Duel: Terror Stories, by Richard Matheson. What is the most frightening 18-wheeler in literary history? Undoubtedly, the truck in Matheson’s short story “Duel.” This collection includes several stories adapted into great “Twilight Zone” episodes.

Truck: A Love Story, by Michael Perry. The New York Times calls it “a funny and touching account” of a love life ruined by Neil Diamond. And the Chicago Tribune, in an over-the-top food metaphor, says, “Perry takes each moment, peeling it, seasoning it with rich language, and then serving it to us piping hot and fresh.”

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: A Novella, by Fredrik Backman. The author of A Man Called Ove offers an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories.

J. D. Salinger: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations, edited and introduction by David Streitfeld. Melville House Publishing does a great service with their Last Interview series, and a famous recluse like Salinger is particularly interesting.

Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film, by Alexandra Zapruder.  The moving, untold family story behind Abraham Zapruder’s film footage of the Kennedy assassination and its lasting impact on our world.

I’ll Take You There, by Wally Lamb. Lamb’s new novel is a radiant homage to the resiliency, strength and the power of women.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles (Vampire Chronicles #12), by Anne Rice. Is it possible? Another? Yep.  PS

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