A three-course tasting menu — classic and contemporary — for readers.
Nigella Lawson’s presence in the world of food and cooking stands out perhaps most because of her insistence on the idea of the pure enjoyment of food. In books like How to Be a Domestic Goddess, the author offers not merely recipes but a philosophy of eating and life that marries the virtues of home and comfort with a sophistication that is infused through both her prose and her cooking. Her latest, Nigella Christmas, pays homage to the spirit of festivity and hospitality that the holiday brings (note her playful tribute to Santa’s reindeer in the photo at left). In keeping with the season’s generosity, Nigella Lawson offered us her personal menu to sate the literary appetite.
By Charles Dickens
“I came to Dickens relatively late in life, but in a way I think that’s the best time. When you’re a child, all you see is the plum-pudding characterisation and twist-and-turning storylines, and although that is part of the juicy pleasure of Dickens, you need to be adult to get the full, heartbreaking measure of his genius. And nothing shows that more, for me, than David Copperfield. This is the fullest, breath-takingly truthful story of a life: not for nothing was it Freud’s favourite novel.”
By Martin Amis
“I’ve never understood why funniness is held to be so slight a thing, as if a book that makes you laugh can only be the lightest of fictions. Martin Amis is probably the funniest of all contemporary writers, and one of the most serious too. Money is his great tour-de-force, and given his canon, this is saying something: every sentence gives deep, deep pleasure.”
By Laurie Colwin
“Laurie Colwin writes about food with love, lightness and an elegant intimacy reminding us that cooking is about life not recipes. Her books are more than cookery books. They are the diaries of someone – who died young – with a huge appetite for life and the rare ability to convey it. She writes so movingly, too, about her daughter and I can’t help thinking what a testimony of love she left her.”