Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple recommends

By Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books

Don't forget: these books below are available at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code "tablehopper" at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

In looking over the fresh cookbooks for something tasty with which to tempt you tablehopper readers, I was a little underwhelmed: not many good recipe books have come out since December's bounty. But I'm now glad for that, as it made me stumble upon a fun, narrative, food-related book: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee.

To say that this is a book about Chinese food would be like saying tablehopper is a food writer—it's accurate, but doesn't quite capture the lively character of either. [Ed. note—Aw for Pete's sake. Wait, I meant to say aw shucks, Pete!] The Fortune Cookie Chronicles is a funny, wide-ranging exploration of Chinese food and culture in America, with much more.

She opens with the mystery of how a lottery drawing that statistically expected 3.7 second-place winners suddenly had 110 (hint: fortune cookie lucky numbers). And each chapter thereafter focuses on another aspect of Chinese food, like the "Kosher Duck Scandal of 1989" (or "Why Chow Mein is the Chosen Food of the Chosen People"), or the chapter on Asian vs. American soy sauce (which contains no soy at all).

Ms. Lee is a reporter for the New York Times, and her polished journalistic style makes this easy to read, but her lively sense of humor makes this fun to read, too.

Thanks for reading.