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The Cookbook Collector

Cover of The Cookbook Collector

The Cookbook Collector

A Novel
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily's boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess's boyfriends, not so much.

National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman has written a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.

Look for special features inside.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.
RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily's boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess's boyfriends, not so much.

National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman has written a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.

Look for special features inside.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.
RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Rain at last. Much-needed rain the weathermen called it. Rain, drummed the little houses skyrocketing in value in Cupertino and Sunnyvale. Much-needed rain darkened the red tile roofs of Stanford, and puddled Palo Alto's leafy streets. On the coast, the waves were molten silver, rising and melting in the September storm. Bridges levitated, and San Francisco floated like a hidden fortress in the mist. Rain flattened the impatiens edging corporate lawns, and Silicon Valley shimmered. The world was bountiful, the markets buoyant. Reflecting pools brimmed to overflowing, and already the tawny hills looked greener. Like money, the rain came in a rush, enveloping the Bay, delighting forecasters, exceeding expectations, charging the air.

    Two sisters met for dinner in the downpour. Emily had driven up from Mountain View to Berkeley in rush-hour traffic. Jess just biked over from her apartment. Emily carried an umbrella. Jess hadn't bothered.

    "Look at you," said Emily.

    "Mmm." Jess brushed the raindrops from her face. "I like it." University Avenue's stucco and glass storefronts were streaming. Runoff whooshed into the storm drains at her feet.

    "You're getting soaked."

    Jess swung her bike helmet by the straps. "I'm hydrating."

    "Like a frog?"

    "You don't have to be amphibian to hydrate through your skin."

    "Get under the umbrella!"

    Jess had a theory about everything, but her ideas changed from day to day. It was hard for Emily to remember whether her sister was primarily feminist or environmentalist, vegan or vegetarian. Did she eat fish, or nothing with a face? Uncertain, Emily let Jess choose the restaurant when they went out to dinner.

    The two of them nibbled samosas at Udupi Palace, and Emily said, "I'm sorry I kept rescheduling."

    "That's okay." It was two weeks past Jess's twenty-third birthday, and the restaurant with its paper place mats looked small and plain for a palace, but Jess didn't mind.

    "Veritech has been insane," Emily explained, "and Jonathan was here. . . ."

    "Oh, Jonathan was here," Jess echoed in a teasing voice. "What did you do with Jonathan?" She often took this tone about Emily's boyfriend. The longer the relationship went on, the more serious it seemed, the more she teased. Jess didn't like him.

    "He was just here very briefly on his way to L.A.," Emily said. "The last couple of weeks have been-"

    Jess interrupted, "I've been insane too."

    "Really?" Emily realized she sounded too surprised and added, "Doing what?"

    "I'm taking the Berkeley, Locke, Hume seminar, and logic, and philosophy of language. . . ." Jess paused to sip her mango lassi. "And working and leafleting."

    "Again?"

    "For Save the Trees. And I'm also taking Latin. I think I might be as busy as you."

    Emily laughed. "No." She was five years older and five times busier. While Jess studied philosophy at Cal, Emily was CEO of a major data- storage start-up.

    "We're filing," Emily explained.

    "I know," Jess said in a long-suffering voice.

    Jess was the only person in the world bored by the IPO, and Emily loved that about her. "I got you a present."

    "Really? Where is it?"

    "You'll see. It's in the car. I thought we could take it back to your place so you can try it on."

    "Oh," Jess said cheerfully, which meant, "I don't mind that you got me clothes again."

    "You wanted something else," Emily fretted.

    "No, I didn't."

    "You did."

    "No! Nothing specific. Maybe a horse. Or a houseboat. That would be nice. And a photographic memory for verb tables."

    "Why are you taking Latin, anyway?"

    "Language...

About the Author-
  • Allegra Goodman's novels include Intuition and Kaaterskill Falls. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Best American Short Stories. She is a winner of the Whiting Writer's Award and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.AllegraGoodman.com or become a fan on Facebook.

Reviews-
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

    "If any contemporary author deserves to wear the mantle of Jane Austen, it's [Allegra] Goodman, whose subtle, astute social comedies perfectly capture the quirks of human nature. This dazzling novel . . . is Goodman's most robust, fully realized and trenchantly meaningful work yet."

  • Entertainment Weekly "Fans of Goodman's lovely, nuanced novels have a treat in store with this tale of two sisters."
  • Library Journal, starred review "Goodman is remarkably successful in creating rich, engaging characters and a complex story of love and identity."
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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