Here are 10 books that, over the years, have stayed with me for a one primal reason. In the list below, all of these books have lingered because they made a direct connection with my stomach. They all have food scenes, in one way or another:
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey.
My eggs, sunny-side up, and the orderlies eat it in front of me, mopping up the yolk with butter soaked toast. That’s what I picture every time I have breakfast.
King Rat, by James Clavell.
An egg cracked over steamed rice, and mixed together into a sticky yellow ball. I can’t look at rice without wanting to do that every single time.
The Shining, by Stephen King.
Jack Torrence made a morning breakfast of Excedrin, chewing them like candy. Now, when I take an aspirin, I chew it and pretend I am hungover.
Never Cry Wolf, by Farley Mowat.
He wrote about capturing mice in the arctic tundra, stewing them up in a pot with mushroom soup and damn it all if it didn’t make my stomach growl.
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.
I never accepted the premise that I should try green eggs and ham. This is not a question of trying new things. This is a health issue. The eggs. Are green.
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.
When the Joads finally find work, they spend their days earnings on a few pounds of fatty ground beef and potatoes. It went all too quick, it was all too bland, but it’s the reason I stand over a frying pan and pick at frying hamburger.
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.
“From far away across the world, he smelled good things to eat.” I always wondered what could be so good that you could smell it from all the way across the world. I’ve always thought it smelled kind of like frying hamburger.
The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson et al.
Roasted fox sounds pretty tempting, and I’m very curious to taste scrambled snake. But Owl ice cream kinda tightens up my pyloric sphincter.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.
To this day, I don’t know what Turkish Delight is, although I’m sure it’s nothing like the candy bar of that name.
Alive, by Piers Paul Read.
Yes, well, how could you not include this book? My memory is seared with visions of flesh cooking on pieces of fuselage.
And toothpaste. They ate a lot of toothpaste first. If they were smart, the would have saved it until after.