Customer Reviews for

The Cookbook Collector

Average Rating 3
( 240 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(61)

2 Star

(49)

1 Star

(32)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Enjoyed the time I spent with these characters

I purchased this book after finding it on an NPR book list. As the NPR and other reviews had hinted, this book is far more rich in character and theme than in plot. I found Emily and Jess, the two sisters who are the unifying characters of the novel, to be quite real ...
I purchased this book after finding it on an NPR book list. As the NPR and other reviews had hinted, this book is far more rich in character and theme than in plot. I found Emily and Jess, the two sisters who are the unifying characters of the novel, to be quite real and felt comfortable with them immediately. (I did think the environmental activist situation to be a little contrived, but it did not keep me from liking the characters.) The sisters' relationship and the relationships that touch each of them are the focus of the novel. In each relationship--sisters, partners, friends, lovers--the characters struggle to find the kind of happiness that will last. I enjoyed Goodman's treatment of this universal idea. I ended the novel no surer of a recipe for happiness than when I began my reading, but I had new ideas to think about. I, personally, often like that open-ended thought-provoking ending much better than a neatly packaged solution.

posted by whiteginger on August 30, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

disappointing

The Cookbook Collector seems to have been written very rapidly. The author didn't take the time to develop the characters fully, therefore, I could not relate to any of them. I just didn't care about them..........nor did I find the plot to be very compelling.
Don't wa...
The Cookbook Collector seems to have been written very rapidly. The author didn't take the time to develop the characters fully, therefore, I could not relate to any of them. I just didn't care about them..........nor did I find the plot to be very compelling.
Don't waste time on this one.

posted by would-rather-be-reading on July 29, 2010

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    disappointing

    The Cookbook Collector seems to have been written very rapidly. The author didn't take the time to develop the characters fully, therefore, I could not relate to any of them. I just didn't care about them..........nor did I find the plot to be very compelling.
    Don't waste time on this one.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2010

    Dissapointing

    I think the author needed to put the book together fast and forgot to put it in order. I would get into the story of one character when it will jump into another. Years and months passed from one page to another without keeping the characters tied in the story line.

    I was very frustrated and could not wait to finish it.
    Sad because the plot sounded interesting for a moment.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    Very Disappointed

    This book was definitely one of the worst books I have ever read. It is slow moving, and at half way thru, I still don't know what the story is. Good character description,but there is no plot. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2010

    Don't Waste Your Time or Your Money

    I purchased this book b/c of the reviews (not the actual reader reviews) and am so sorry that I did. What a waste of my time and money. This was one of the most horrible books I have ever read. How can they even compare her to Jane Austen, especially after reading this book? The characters are boring, the plot is boring, there is no sense of consistency in the book and you have no timeline through the entire book. Reading a dictionary would be more interesting - and at least worth my time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyed the time I spent with these characters

    I purchased this book after finding it on an NPR book list. As the NPR and other reviews had hinted, this book is far more rich in character and theme than in plot. I found Emily and Jess, the two sisters who are the unifying characters of the novel, to be quite real and felt comfortable with them immediately. (I did think the environmental activist situation to be a little contrived, but it did not keep me from liking the characters.) The sisters' relationship and the relationships that touch each of them are the focus of the novel. In each relationship--sisters, partners, friends, lovers--the characters struggle to find the kind of happiness that will last. I enjoyed Goodman's treatment of this universal idea. I ended the novel no surer of a recipe for happiness than when I began my reading, but I had new ideas to think about. I, personally, often like that open-ended thought-provoking ending much better than a neatly packaged solution.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2010

    Cookbook Collector

    I was invested in the characters and relationships between them.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 2, 2010

    Not worth the time

    I finally had to give up on this book. The characters were not well developed and frankly, some of them were quite annoying. The story line was very slow and just never seemed to go anywhere.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Read

    My husband got me this book because it was reviewed on NPR. It is an easy, enjoyable read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    A beautifully written novel about finding your path in life where you least expect it.

    Wow - quite a book! The story starts out about 2 sisters, Emily and Jessamine. Emily is the oldest, smart and responsible she has life all figured out and is on the cusp of huge success with a startup, software company and in a serious relationship with her steady boyfriend. Jessamine is the flighty, younger sister still trying to find her way. She hops from one boyfriend to another and one cause to another, looking for a way to do good in the world. A simplistic synopsis for a deeply complicated, real, and honest book. This story is about sisters, dreams, and growing up. Its about wild dreams, heartbreaking devastation, and as the dust jacket so clearly states "it is about holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays."

    Phew! This was, wow!, quite a book for me. The first 2/3 of the book were, honestly, boring. I'm not in the software world and I didn't pay much attention to the dot.com boom when it was happening. I don't understand the mind set of the kind of people who lost it all in crazy start-up schemes, so I just wasn't really interested in those parts. Jessamine was mildly more interesting, but it didn't seem like she was ever going to get her act together. Then, all the sudden, it started to catch my interest. As an unexpected love story began to bloom I found myself unable to put it down. Then the big climax came to a head and I was literally riveted, desperate to know the plot would shake out and where the characters would end up! In the end, the book was so real, with flawed people and life turning surprising corners just when you had it figured out. A beautifully written novel about finding your path in life where you least expect it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    Surprise multiple plot twists and well defined characters made this a pleasurable read. Not really about cookbooks - so don't be put off if you don't care about culinary pursuits - but about two sisters finding their way pre- and post- 9/11 events.

    The author did plenty of research to make the story real and timely. Well crafted plots that interweave the theme of rare book collecting with chance encounters, cross-country family connections, and the impending financial and social disasters in the fall of 2000 keep the reader puzzled, but entertained. The literary references alone are worth the read, but are not intrusive into the story telling. I particulary enjoyed the descriptions of the Maybeck architecture versus the MacMansions on the East coast and the descriptive visits to Cambridge, MA evidenced some real time spent on foot in that town.
    When everything connects the threads at the end, it becomes more than just a good read -it morphs into a cleverly disguised mystery novel.

    I'm looking forward to the author's next novel with curiosity - what theme this time?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2010

    uninteresting

    I found this story difficult to get into mainly because I couldn't get interested in the main characters. At times also the writing seemed trite. Not fast paced enough either. Basically not my cup of tea.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Add to Your Collection

    This book received so many favorable reviews, I did not want to wait for it to be issued in soft cover form. I should have saved my money. I found the characters to be two-dimensional, at best, and somewhat annoying. I don't like to detail plot parts in a review because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but there is a story line that was a little far-fetched and coincidental. The writing style is ok. But the book was a huge disappointment

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Good book for book club discussions

    The group I belong to enjoyed the book and had diverse opinions about what everyone's favorite parts were. All agreed on doing away with Jonathan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Unique concept and well worth the read.

    I found this to be a very interesting book and an unusual topic
    which was well written and such that you could readily visualize
    the settings. Any book lover would enjoy this offering.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What is the point of this book?

    I started out thinking this would be an intertaining novel about two very differnt sisters, but the book spends to much time following too many people that weave in and out of the sisters lives. By page 40 or so I wondered why I had downloaded it to my Nook, and where the book was really going,and what was the point of the book? I am glad that I read it from overdrive and can send it back whenever I get done skimming it, maybe it has a purpose, I will find it if it does.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Boring, Boring, Boring

    I bought this book because I liked some of her other works but I found this unreadable. The couldn't get past the first few chapters and was shocked at how dry and boring it was. What happened? Katerskill Falls is one of my favorites and this just doesn't compare in any way....boring characters, no charm, not worth the price of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I slogged through this book for book club and hated it. I hated

    I slogged through this book for book club and hated it. I hated this book. It was billed as "similar to Sense and Sensibility" well NO. The only thing similar was the "plot" around 2 sisters. It was so contrived and in the end it could not make me care about either of the sisters and what they did. The actual character of cookbook collector only appeared briefly and was already dead. The other characters were uninteresting. The whole novel was pointless and I wish I could have the time I spent reading it back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    Boring. Too many characters and none that I really cared about.

    Boring. Too many characters and none that I really cared about. I was glad when the book was over. I don't know why I finished reading it.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book stunk. Too bad it was my choice for book club this pas

    This book stunk. Too bad it was my choice for book club this past month, they'll never choose one of my suggestions again! I'm pretty sure everyone in our group disliked it.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    Mediocre

    The writing is ordinary flat prose. The story isn't all that interesting, either. I couldn't not put it down. It's on my "will not finish" shelf.

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