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Beach Bites: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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So, you've read Julie & Julia and all of Ruth Reichl's books, but you're hungry for more? Fear not, summer reader. We've got a week's worth of book recommendations for you, all food-related in one way or another, starting today with The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee.

Speaking of hunger, the friend who recommended Lee's book warned that reading it could produce an irrepressible craving for Chinese food. And how. We recommend consuming this book along with a plate of steaming lo mein or better yet, close to a continuing rotating dim sum cart.

Oh, it's worth it. You'll never look at a fortune cookie -- or a Chinese restaurant worker -- the same. Lee is a New York Times reporter, and it shows in her work. The book is incredibly well-reported (but lovingly paced with memoir -- she'll explain her odd middle name, for example), skipping down the menu from the history of Chinese food delivery to the background of soy sauce to the mystery intertwined throughout: Just where did fortune cookies originate?

We'll never tell. You'll have to read the book. You'll thank us, even if you feel a little bloated for a while. 

And if you're left wanting more, Lee's blog is delightful. She's also one of our favorites on Twitter: @jennifer8lee.  

Up tomorrow for Beach Bites: The King of Vodka, by Linda Himelstein 

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.