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“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 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a novel about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. 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.

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Genre: Fiction
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2015-07-28
File: 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780698196513

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'A tremendous novel that combines powerfully moving moments with hilarious satire' Daily Mail 'Eva Thorvald is the new Olive Kitteridge' Elisabeth Egan 'Kitchens of the Great Midwest is terrific' Jane Smiley, Guardian Have you met Eva Thorvald? To her father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can figure out. Someday, Eva will surprise everyone. One by one, they tell their story; together, they tell Eva's. Joyful, quirky and heartwarming, this is a novel about the family you lose, the friends you make and the chance connections that make a life. On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession. Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns. Special paperback edition with questions for reading groups, interview, guide to the Midwest, recipes and more!

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Genre: Fiction
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Publisher: RiverRun
Release: 2015-07-28
File: 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781784291921

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BOOK EXCERPT:

'A tremendous novel that combines powerfully moving moments with hilarious satire' Daily Mail 'Eva Thorvald is the new Olive Kitteridge' Elisabeth Egan 'Kitchens of the Great Midwest is terrific' Jane Smiley, Guardian Have you met Eva Thorvald? To her father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can figure out. Someday, Eva will surprise everyone. One by one, they tell their story; together, they tell Eva's. Joyful, quirky and heartwarming, this is a novel about the family you lose, the friends you make and the chance connections that make a life. On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession. Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns. Special paperback edition with questions for reading groups, interview, guide to the Midwest, recipes and more!

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Genre: Fiction
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release: 2015-07-28
File: 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781784291921

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A National Bestseller! “The perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day.” —Washington Post “[A] charmer of a tale. . . Warm, witty and--like any good craft beer--complex, the saga delivers a subtly feminist and wholly life-affirming message.” —People Magazine A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can't help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself. With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: "Drink lots. It's Blotz." Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen's is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it's not too late. Meanwhile, Edith's granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up--will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family? Here we meet a cast of lovable, funny, quintessentially American characters eager to make their mark in a world that's often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.

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Genre: Fiction
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2019-07-23
File: 384 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780399563072

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“As if The Remains of the Day had been written by Kingsley Amis, The Waiter is…one of the most purely entertaining novels I’ve read in years. This book is a meal you won’t want to finish.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest In the tradition of the modern classics The Remains of the Day and A Gentleman in Moscow comes The Waiter, in which the finely tuned balance of a timeworn European restaurant is irrevocably upset by an unexpected guest. The Hills dates from a time when pigs were pigs and swine were swine, the Maître D’ likes to say—in other words from the mid-1800s. Every day begins with the head waiter putting on his jacket. In with one arm, then the other. Shrugged onto his shoulders. Horn buttons done up. Always the same. There is clinking. Cutlery is moved around porcelain and up to mouths. But in this universe unto itself, there is scarcely any contact between the tables of regulars. And that is precisely how the waiter likes it. Sheer routine…until a beautiful young woman walks through the door and upsets the delicate balance of the restaurant and all it has come to represent. Told in a kaleidoscopic rotation of voices—the headwaiter, the bartender, the coat checker, the chef who never speaks—The Waiter marks the North American debut of an exciting new voice in literary fiction that will leave you longing to sit down at The Hills, order a drink, and watch the world go by….

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Matias Faldbakken
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Release: 2019-06-18
File: 256 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781501197536

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An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion. Anne Corey is about to get schooled. An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president. Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love. Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Julia Sonneborn
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 2018-02-06
File: 384 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781501175190

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“This guy can write!” —Ray Bradbury Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people-and monsters and trees and jocular octopi-who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination. Contains 40 stories, including “The Duck,” “The Man and the Moose,” and “Death and the Fruits of the Tree,” as heard on NPR’s This American Life, “The Book,” as heard on Selected Shorts, and “The TV,” as published in The New Yorker. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Ben Loory
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2011-07-26
File: 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 1101529288

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Following his widely acclaimed Project X and Love and Hydrogen—“Here is the effect of these two books,” wrote the Chicago Tribune: “A reader finishes them buzzing with awe”—Jim Shepard now gives us his first entirely new collection in more than a decade. Like You’d Understand, Anyway reaches from Chernobyl to Bridgeport, with a host of narrators only Shepard could bring to pitch-perfect life. Among them: a middle-aged Aeschylus taking his place at Marathon, still vying for parental approval. A maddeningly indefatigable Victorian explorer hauling his expedition, whaleboat and all, through the Great Australian Desert in midsummer. The first woman in space and her cosmonaut lover, caught in the star-crossed orbits of their joint mission. Two Texas high school football players at the top of their food chain, soliciting their fathers’ attention by leveling everything before them on the field. And the rational and compassionate chief executioner of Paris, whose occupation, during the height of the Terror, eats away at all he holds dear. Brimming with irony, compassion, and withering humor, these eleven stories are at once eerily pertinent and dazzlingly exotic, and they showcase the work of a protean, prodigiously gifted writer at the height of his form. Reading Jim Shepard, according to Michael Chabon, “is like encountering our national literature in microcosm.”

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Jim Shepard
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 2008-11-19
File: 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307487520

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A Love Letter to America's Heartland, the Great Midwest When it comes to defining what we know as all-American baking, everything from Bundt cakes to brownies have roots that can be traced to the great Midwest. German, Scandinavian, Polish, French, and Italian immigrant families baked their way to the American Midwest, instilling in it pies, breads, cookies, and pastries that manage to feel distinctly home-grown. After more than a decade of living in California, author Shauna Sever rediscovered the storied, simple pleasures of home baking in her Midwestern kitchen. This unique collection of more than 125 recipes includes refreshed favorites and new treats: Rhubarb and Raspberry Swedish Flop Danish Kringle Secret-Ingredient Cherry Slab Pie German Lebkuchen Scotch-a-Roos Smoky Cheddar-Crusted Cornish Pasties . . . and more, which will make any kitchen feel like a Midwestern home.

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Genre: Cooking
Author: Shauna Sever
Publisher: Running Press Adult
Release: 2019-10-22
File: 328 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780762464517

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An instant classic for fans of Peace Like a River and Jim the Boy: when two hardscrabble young boys think they've committed a crime, they flee into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Will the adults trying to find and protect them reach them before it's too late? It's the summer of 1994 in Claypot, Wisconsin, and the lives of ten-year-old Fischer "Fish" Branson and Dale "Bread" Breadwin are shaped by the two fathers they don't talk about. One night, tired of seeing his best friend bruised and terrorized by his no-good dad, Fish takes action. A gunshot rings out and the two boys flee the scene, believing themselves murderers. They head for the woods, where they find their way onto a raft, but the natural terrors of Ironsforge gorge threaten to overwhelm them. Four adults track them into the forest, each one on a journey of his or her own. Sheriff Cal, who's having doubts about a life in law enforcement; Tiffany, a purple-haired gas station attendant and poet looking for connection; Fish's mother Miranda, full of fierce faith; and his granddad, Teddy, who knows the woods like the back of his hand. The adults track the boys toward the novel's heart-pounding climax on the edge of the gorge and a conclusion that beautifully makes manifest the grace these characters find in the wilderness and one another. This timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure runs like the river itself amid the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest. --Nickolas Butler, author of Little Faith

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Genre: Forests and forestry
Author: Andrew J. Graff
Publisher: Ecco
Release: 2021-03-23
File: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 0063031906

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