The Cookbook Collector

The Cookbook Collector - Allegra Goodman

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman was our most recent book club selection that was discussed yesterday. We were all in agreement that it was just sort of "blah".


This is the story of motherless sisters, the older Emily, driven and ambitious is the self-appointed nurturer to younger Jess, a college student and free spirit.  Emily's company just went public, is selling stock and she's making a fortune.  Jess works part-time at a bookstore and is falling in love with a tree-saving activist.  Emily's boyfriend Jonathan is also driven but ruthless towards achieving success.  George, the owner of the bookstore where Jess works is an unapologetic bibliophile, a connoisseur of fine things who bristles with Jess's irresponsible attitude.


These two sisters are at the core of the story, however it branches off into different directions where they eventually drop off and aren't mentioned again. We were all in agreement that this book had too many loose ends and perhaps had the author committed to fewer ideas it might have made for a better read.


Another complaint from the group was that none of the characters were all that likable this made for difficultly connecting with them in order to want to continue reading.  What I did like is that it took place in Berkeley which is for me is local as well as the sections about the bookstore were the best scenes for me. I wanted this book to be better and feel it had the potential but was unfortunately a disappointing mess.