You know those good books?  Those really good books you wish were longer – longer than War and Peace longer.  You plead for ten more chapters just so you can stay with these characters, these words, a day more.

This is how I’m left feeling after finishing The School of Essential Ingredients, the first novel by Erica Bauermeister.

It is simply delicious.  I devoured the first hundred pages like I was eating crab legs…working quickly to crack them while they were hot not wanting to lose one morsel. Then I realized this feast was ending too soon and I forced myself to slow down, chew each paragraph like a piece of rich, aged cheese – the kind you can only afford a sliver of once in a while.

Ok, enough with the food metaphors because now I’m starving.

Seriously, this is a book that you will love.  Especially if you are a food lover like me; it is seductive and taunting with the most wonderful descriptions of edibles. Heck, it inspired me to want to LEARN how to cook (you know, real food), not just look forward to someone else’s offerings.

But these culinary tales, though divine and so not good for someone trying to reduce her consumption (safe to say this not a book to discuss at my next WW meeting), is merely a backdrop.  The place setting to the wonderful weave of these ordinary strangers who come together for a random cooking class and are  melted and molded into…well, I don’t want to spoil it.

Thanks to Amy Tobin and Amy’s Table for including me in her Book Club this month and for the introduction to Erica.  I get the chance to speak with Amy and Erica later today and I’m thrilled.  You can listen to the interview and discussion this weekend when Amy hosts her monthly book club on Q102 – it will be online as well.  I’ll keep you posted when I know when and where.