Stocking up on sugar and good fortune

Cover image of "Recipe for life"In the days following February’s earthquake, I found myself hankering after chocolate, sugar-coated biscuits, syrupy tea. Now I find myself craving something different: sweet reads.

Taking refuge in Dunedin as my house in Christchurch awaits demolition, I recently headed to Dunedin Public Library to take advantage of their reciprocal borrowing arrangement for earthquake evacuees. As I browsed the A – Z fiction shelves for an attractive-looking spine, I came across Recipe for Life. I turned the book over to read the blurb and shook my head, amused. Serendipitously, I had a picked up a novel about someone struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after surviving a horrific event.

I devoured this book in two days. Nicky Pellegrino transported me to Italy; full of delicious flavours, comforting smells, vibrant colours and life – both bitter and sweet. It was exactly what I needed; a book that made me smile in delight and nod in empathy.

This has got me wondering – do we always choose our books or do books sometimes choose us? Are we drawn to particular titles because they whisper to our subconscious on some level or do we only find meaning in the pages because we want to?

What books have you read that mirrored your own life in some unexpected way?

Want an appetising read? Tell us what kind of books you enjoy, and we’ll give you some suggestions.

Soundtrack for a book

Cover image for Zoo CityThere’s plenty of soundtracks for movies, but I have’t come across a soundtrack for a book before.

UK publisher Angry Robot published Zoo City by Lauren Beukes in 2010, and now African Dope has produced a soundtrack to go with the book.

So far the brief listen I have had fits with my memory of reading the book and I’m now going to re-read the book alongside the soundtrack to see what the experience is like (and given that I rarely re-read books, this will be a quirky multisensory experiment).

Let me know if you know of other book soundtracks.