Monday, December 9, 2013

Our December / January Book Pick: Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

Usually when I select a book for Cook the Books, it is something I read, really enjoyed and want to share with others. I try to look for foodie books that take us as CTB readers to a different place or time, which is why I chose Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Perkin as our December / January book selection without reading it first. While perusing the shelves at BookEnds, my favorite local bookstore in Kailua, I stumbled across this book. Caught by the colorful spine and cover and the word "cakes" in the title, I opened it up to find a charming story about a cake baker in modern-day Rwanda. I had visions of cakes and exploring Rwanda and its cuisine with my Cook the Books friends.  

In Baking Cakes in Kigali, Angel Tungaraza bakes her colorful cakes and gives hope in the heart of Rwanda, a country recovering from war and horrific acts against its citizens. Angel is a busy woman, raising her five grandchildren and running her popular baking business while still taking the time to listen to the stories of her customers and to share her wisdom with them. The stories aren't all pleasant--war, abuse, genocide, AIDS..., but there is an overall feeling of hope and humor throughout the book. I took a bit of a chance announcing this book as my pick before doing more than turning a few pages but, after actually reading it, I am glad that I did. I hope you find it as engaging as I do and that it inspires something delicious.

Anyone is welcome to join in reading, cooking a dish inspired by this book, and then blogging about it. The deadline for this round is Monday, January 27th. Either email me at or leave a comment on this post with the link to your entry post. Judging information will be coming soon!

Happy Reading!