Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Funny Food

An Edible History of Humanity - (ISBN: 978-1410418500)

by Tom Standage

Standage traces the history of eating, detailing foods that developed as civilizations conquered and passed out of importance. Spices in the China trade and the use of corn in Mexican-influenced cuisines are two of the many interesting examples he uses to show why we eat the food we eat today. What unusual food items that you enjoy show up as you “eat” your way through this book?

Authors in the Kitchen - (ISBN: 978-1591582380)

by Sharron L. McElmeel

If you enjoy reading about all kinds of cuisine, getting new recipes, learning about authors, and hearing what famous people like to eat, this is the book for you. Its combination of recipes, anecdotes, biographical sketches, and references to other works and information appeal to all readers who enjoy food!

Baking Cakes in Kigali - (ISBN: 978-0385343435)

by Gaile Parkin

An emigrant baker from Tanzania, Angel moves to post-trauma Rwanda with her husband and opens a bakery. She tends to her grandchildren and gives advice to her friends and patrons. Although she has lost her son and daughter to the war, she valiantly continues her nurturing activities in a place haunted by great tragedy.

Ghost a la Mode: A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery - (ISBN: 978-0738713809)

by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Granny’s ghost seeks to exonerate her from the crime of killing her husband. Her great-great-great granddaughter, fond of dabbling in the occult, helps Granny clear her name, and the two go on to take part in many other mysteries in this new series. If you enjoy mysteries with “bite,” try this Ghost of Granny Apples mystery.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - (ISBN: 978-0143038580)

by Michael Pollan

This fascinating look at where our food comes from leads the reader on a backtrack from a highly-processed, fried, and calorie-laden snack all the way back to the farm and the chemical factory (cringe!). Pollan presents his findings with great research skill, humor, and revealing accuracy. It might just turn out that the ingredients in what we think of as normal food are the “funniest” of all.

The Tortilla Curtain - (ISBN: 978-0140238280 )

by T. Coraghessen Boyle

No, the tortilla curtain is not a new Mexican specialty, but instead, the line drawn between illegal immigrants and well-off Californians whose lives accidentally intersect in this novel. Blithely presenting each group’s point of view with the same literary kindness, Boyle weaves a tale that pleads for a more compassionate world.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - (ISBN: 978-0060852566)

by Barbara Kingsolver

Corpse on the Cob - (ISBN: 978-0738713519)

by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Firmin - (ISBN: 978-0385342650)

by Sam Savage

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto - (ISBN: 978-0143114963)

by Michael Pollan

The Weird & Wonderful Foods that People Eat - (ISBN: 978-0794602550)

by Jerry Hopkins, Anthony Bourdain Michael Freeman

Tortilla Flat - (ISBN: 978-0140187403)

by John Steinbeck

Activities for this Theme

Watch the controversial movie, “Super Size Me.” Talk with your friends about this after you read one of Schlosser’s books.

Form a book club and read The Hunger Games. Use these questions to guide your discussions. 

After a free, simple registration, you can collect your own recipes for unusual (and also normal!) food in an online cookbook. Start one together with everyone in the family!

Read food labels to educate yourself about how many additives, chemicals, and other-non-food items are in the foods you eat. Try pronouncing them out loud!