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9 Delicious Reads

A recommended reading list by authors of bestselling rom-com The Holiday Swap.

Book Cover The Holiday Swap

The Holiday Swap is a feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas.

"An utterly adorable, pitch-perfect romance with just the right amount of Christmas cheer. The Holiday Swap is a pure delight, I couldn’t stop from smiling."-- Taylor Jenkins Reid, NYT bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six


book Cover Frying Plantain

Frying Plantain, by Zalika Reid-Benta

Since the plot of The Holiday Swap turns on delicious—and often highly competitive—holiday baking, our minds were full of thoughts of food and family as we wrote the novel. We would often share recipes with each other that were part of our family’s holiday traditions, and it got us thinking about how food and identity are so closely linked. Traditional family recipes almost always serve to tie us to our family’s past and origin.   

These stories are about coming of age, class, culture—and, as the title suggests, food plays a huge role. Its prevalence in the narrative was just one reason we loved this book so much. 


Book Cover Chop Suey Nation

Chop Suey Nation, by Ann Hui

The Holiday Swap offers our take on food, tradition and family life—and how these three things are so often entwined. Chop Suey Nation provides another perspective, and is a unique and fascinating exploration of the deep roots of Chinese food in Canadian culture. We also loved the small town stories in this road trip memoir—like the Chinese restaurant owner who is also the mayor of a small town, or the woman who runs a restaurant alone on Fogo Island.


Book Cover the Measure of My POwers

The Measure of My Powers, by Jackie Kai Ellis

Our novel is light and funny—but we were going through some dark times as we wrote it: the onset of a global pandemic, a death in the family. The experience made us see the way connection—to a friend, to writing, and yes, to food—can pull people back from the edge. This baker’s memoir about finding herself  through food is heartening and inspiring.


Book Cover The Maid

The Maid, by Nita Prose

At its heart this is a cozy mystery with a twist (you’ll never guess the ending)—but as we read it we couldn’t help but notice the many times the main character found comfort in food. In a particularly tense scene, she grounds herself by carefully eating a muffin and reflecting on the fact that eating and existence are closely tied. We eat, therefore we stay alive—even during dire times. We were also charmed by Molly’s love of The Olive Garden. It made us crave pasta! And pizza! And deep fried mozzarella!


Book Cover Accidentally Engaged

Accidentally Engaged, by Farah Heron

Now here’s a book after our own sourdough starter-loving hearts! And it shares plenty more with The Holiday Swap, outside of the bread-baking obsession: there’s also a cooking competition, an unlikely romance, and plenty of delightful rom-com moments as the heroine, Reena Manji, learns how to take her personal life from “recipe for disaster” to having all the right ingredients.


Book Cover Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Kahn Carries On, by Uzma Jalaluddin

Podcasts, competing halal restaurants, romance with a twist, a deeply-buried family secret…yes, please! Jalaluddin’s latest (we also loved her debut, Ayesha at Last) has all the delicious makings of the foodie-based romantic comedies we crave, without shying away from more complicated themes relating to family, community, sense of place, and figuring out who you really are.


Book Cover Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop, by Roselle Lim

If, like us, you love a splash of magic in your foodie fiction, look no further than Roselle Lim’s latest offering. Plus, if you’re experiencing a touch of wanderlust these days (who isn’t?), this novel will scratch that itch as it whisks you away to la belle Paris. Lim is known for her beautiful, whimsical writing—especially about food, so be warned: this book is best read with a cup of tea and a macaron (or two).


Book Cover Dinner Uncomplicated

Dinner, UncomplicatedFixing a Delicious Meal Every Night of the Week, by Claire Tansey

Former Chatelaine Food Director, chef and now busy mom, Tansey knows a thing or two about food (and how meal prep can steal our happiness). This follow-up to her first cookbook Uncomplicated focuses on the meal we most often view as a chore: DINNER. Full of recipes, tips and tricks for everything from quick-and-easy to giving leftovers a second life, this cookbook is a lifesaver and should be in every family’s kitchen. 


Book Cover The Holiday Swap

Learn more about The Holiday Swap:

All they want for Christmas is a different life.
When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell--both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family's bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won't get the memo that they're over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven't done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins' identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

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