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Extended Audio Sample The Cookbook Collector: A Novel, by Allegra Goodman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,911 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Allegra Goodman Narrator: Ariadne Meyers Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Heralded as “a modern day Jane Austen” by USA Today, National Book Award finalist and New York Times best-selling author Allegra Goodman has compelled and delighted hundreds of thousands of readers and listeners. Now, in her most ambitious work yet, Goodman weaves together the worlds of Silicon Valley and rare-book collecting in a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and fulfillment.

Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: 28-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech; 23-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily’s boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess’s boyfriends, not so much—as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.

Bicoastal, surprising, rich in ideas and characters, The Cookbook Collector is a novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can’t find what we’re looking for: reading cookbooks instead of cooking, speculating instead of creating, collecting instead of living. But above all, it is about holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Goodman is remarkably successful in creating rich, engaging characters and a complex story of love and identity that reads like life itself.”

    Library Journal

  • “Enjoyable and satisfying, this is Goodman’s most robust, fully realized and trenchantly meaningful work yet.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Allegra Goodman’s new novel has so many appealing ingredients. Where, then, to start the list? Perhaps, as with food labels, it would be best to begin with the biggest: an irresistible story. Then add four strong characters: two sisters, and the two men who orbit them. Then there’s the narrative voice: sweet but not cloyingly so, nourishing but not heavy, serving up zesty nuggets of truth. And the spicing is piquant but not too assertive…If you’re hankering for a feast of love, let yourself fall under the spell of Allegra Goodman’s abundantly delicious tale. You won’t leave hungry.”

    New York Times

  • “A witty, warm, and wise look at the human condition in the digital age.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “If any contemporary author deserves to wear the mantle of Jane Austen, it’s [Allegra] Goodman, whose subtle, astute social comedies perfectly capture the quirks of human nature. This dazzling novel . . . is Goodman’s most robust, fully realized and trenchantly meaningful work yet. Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
  • "Fans of Goodman's lovely, nuanced novels have a treat in store with this tale of two sisters. Entertainment Weekly
  • "Goodman is remarkably successful in creating rich, engaging characters and a complex story of love and identity. Library Journal, starred review
  • Selected for the July 2010 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Lu | 2/13/2014

    " Lost interest and put it down. I hit my 100 page threshold and decided to spend my time on a good book, rather than... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dave Morris | 2/7/2014

    " I normally prefer books with a strong plot line, this book however seems to be about the everyday lives of its characters - nothing particular outstanding occurs to anyone until quite near the end of the novel. Having said that, I actually really enjoyed reading this! It is well written and has a good ambience about it that sort of pulls you onwards - it make you care about the characters and everytime you put the book down you want to pick it up again just to find out what happens to the people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dana Vindedzis | 2/4/2014

    " Fun novel about romance, cookbook collecting with interesting character and relationship development. I love to cook, so this was especially appealing to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Samantha | 2/3/2014

    " I *LOVED* The Cookbook Collector. Even if the book did seem a little techo-centric at times, you didn't have to be a computer programmer to figure any of it out. Perhaps I was able to easily identify with the sister because they are as different as my sister and I are--in temperment, character and success--though admittedly I never lived in a tree. (A friend and I did consider it, but then I found out I was pregnant and then, frankly, I had bigger problems than the trees.) At one point, Jess, while cataloguing the amazing cookbook collection, is left a peach to eat. The author Allegra Goodman writes her eating this peach like it is the most incredible peach ever eaten. I can't even begin to tell you how much I wanted a peach. In fact, I went to the most expensive store I could find (where the best produce usually is) and bought the most expensive, juiciest looking peaches I could pick out of the bundle and as the juice squirted as undaintily as possible everywhere (unlike Allegra Goodman's gorgeous description) I still felt like I could be eating Jess's peach. Amazing. I'll admit, The Cookbook Collector is very Austenesque. Like Sense and Sensibility the Jewtastic Edition or Sense and Sensibility the Technotastic Version! Lots of interesting information and very entertaining. I had a hard time putting it down. "

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