Recommended Reads for Adults 2020

Recommended Reads are the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library's monthly series of books that can be found in our collection.

For November 2020, we give you a smorgasbord of titles featuring food and drink. Enjoy!

To request any of these books, please contact the library at 206-615-0400 or download the books by logging into your BARD account at

The Winemaker’s Daughter by Timothy Egan. (BRW 1146/DBC 7080)
The Cartolano’s Eastern Washington vineyard is enduring the worst drought in history. Brunella is struggling to protect it from deliberate sabotage when a wildfire kills a squadron of firefighters, including her brother Niccolo. Contains descriptions of violence and strong language. 2004.  
This title will be discussed at the next virtual WTBBL Book Club meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 3 p.m. You can request a copy of the book and get the conference call phone number and pass code by calling (800) 542-0866 or emailing
Like Water For Chocolate: A Novel In Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel. (BR 9187/DB 36256)
When Pedro asks Mama Elena for the hand of her youngest daughter, Tita, he is offered her sister instead. By family tradition, Tita is to remain unmarried to care for her mother. Tita, a magical cook, shares recipes that, seasoned by her emotions, have an extraordinary impact on the events that follow her mother's decision. Descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1992.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Café by Fannie Flagg. (DB 26698)
The story centers on a cafe in the railroad town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, and on Idgie and Ruth, the two women who run the cafe. There are numerous real-life, minor characters in this tale that ranges from Whistle Stop to Valdosta, Georgia, Birmingham, and Chicago, and swings back and forth in time from the pre-Depression era to the present. The core of this novel is the unusual love affair between Idgie and Ruth. Some strong language. 1987.
Corn Flakes with John Lennon and Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life by Robert Hilburn. (DB 70477)
Los Angeles Times critic reveals behind-the-scenes anecdotes from his decades of covering music. Mixes details from encounters with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, U2, and others with analysis of their cultural impact. Introduction by Bono. Some strong language. 2009.
The Pumpkin Rollers by Elmer Kelton. (DB 43160)
With the Civil War over, young Trey McLean believes the time has come to head west and fulfill his dream of becoming a cattleman. Known at first as a pumpkin roller (a green farm boy with no knowledge of ranching), Trey soon learns the trade. But not without some problems--and a little romance--along the way. Some strong language. 1996.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hedges. (DB 38019)
At twenty-four, Gilbert Grape works as a grocery stock boy in the small, dying town of Endora, Iowa. He still lives at home with two of his sisters, caring for his mentally delayed brother Arnie and his obese, reclusive Momma. Momma's one wish is to see Arnie's upcoming eighteenth birthday, because the doctors said he would die at ten. As the big day approaches, an angelic girl helps Gilbert cope. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1991.
The Cider House Rules by John Irving. (BR 6178/DB 21531)
Set in rural Maine at the turn of the century, this is the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch, saint, obstetrician, orphanage director, ether addict, and abortionist. His medical practices are hindered and abetted by his favorite orphan, Homer Wells. The novel is based on documents left by the author's physician grandfather. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 1985.
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. (DB 73530)
North Carolina. Former high school classmates Willa and Paxton join forces to uncover long-hidden secrets after a skeleton is found beneath a peach tree on the grounds of a mansion. The house once belonged to Willa's family and is being restored by the Women's Society Club, headed by Paxton. 2011.
Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth: A Pennsylvania-Dutch Mystery with Recipes by Tamar Myers. (DB 49800)
Mennonite innkeeper Magdalena Yoder has trouble when a group of deer hunters led by a congressman and an animal-rights group of vegetarians converge for a weekend at her establishment. When two of the guests are murdered, Magadalena knows that the culprit is among them. 1994.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Amy Bender. (DB 71699)
On her ninth birthday, Rose realizes she can taste her mother's emotions baked into a slice of cake. Eating becomes agonizing for Rose as she uncovers everyone's feelings. But she learns in adulthood to put her ability to good use. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2010.
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham. (BR 17339/DB 65195)
Third-string quarterback Rick Dockery of the Cleveland Browns disgraces himself in a championship game and is fired. Dockery insists that his agent, Arnie, find him another job. When Arnie comes through, Dockery heads to Parma, Italy, where he faces culture shock.  Bestseller. 2007.

Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran. (DB 64270)
It's 1986. Three young Aminpour sisters escape the Iranian Revolution and immigrate to Ireland. There they open a Middle Eastern cafe in a small seaside village. Despite the cultural difference, Layla, Marjan, and Bahar charm all the locals except for pub owner Thomas McGuire. Includes recipes. 2005.