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Slow Books

Slow Books is a curated list of books and resources that speak to Slow Food values. We hope to connect readers with food writing that inspires thought and discussion about the food you love, diverse food cultures, historical foodways, food justice and the joy of eating.

SLOW Books recommendATIONs

We use bookshop.org to host our booklists; their sales support independent bookstores and give back to Slow Food USA.


February 2024 books selected by Slow Books team member Katie

Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam

by Thien Pham

This graphic memoir intertwines Thien’s memories of his family fleeing Vietnam, becoming refugees, and eventually making it to America with the food that shaped each of those life events — a rice ball, potato chips, ham and cheese croissants to name a few items. It’s a story that is timely, relevant and laced with food memories. It will feed your soul with hope. But fair warning — it may make you hungry too.

Sankofa: A Culinary Story of Resilience and Belonging

By Eric Adjepong and illustrated by Lala Watkins

“Kofi is in grade school and his class is having an annual potluck where the children are asked to bring ‘a dish that best represents your family’s culture.’ While Kofi was born in America, the rest of his family were born in Ghana, and this focus on ‘culture’ only makes him feel more different from his classmates, who are excitedly chatting about the dishes they are going to bring — dishes everyone is sure to love like spaghetti and meatballs  and mac ‘n’ cheese. Kofi grapples with feeling an outsider not only to his classmates, but to his own culture — a place he’s never even been to. Luckily, his grandfather (nanabarima) steps in to help Kofi realize that ‘every ingredient has a story.’ And that story is worth listening to and embracing.”

Discussion Guides

For the 2022 Network-Wide Read-Along, the Slow Books team chose Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens. Here are some additional reading materials to enhance your enjoyment of this epic ode to some of our favorite foods.





In 2020, Slow Books hosted a virtual discussion group to discuss How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. The Slow Books Curators developed a trio of discussion guides for the book—A Reading & Discussion Guide, A Moderator’s Guide and a Virtual Book Club Toolkit—so you can host your own discussion group! Download all three here.
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The Slow Food Book Curators

Tammy Maitland

Tammy Maitland

Tammy is a coastal Massachusetts transplant who has been living in the high desert of New Mexico for the past 16 years. She has mainly worked in the field of education, either as a 4th grade teacher, substitute teacher, or environmental educator. In the last few years her love of food has blossomed right along with her growing obsession with books. Tammy has been a board member of Slow Food Albuquerque for about a year. You can find her on Instagram as @quibit_the_cat.
Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson

Katie discovered her local Slow Food chapter in Chicago five years ago while working at a commercial food broker, scratching her head at the gap between the midwest-grown blueberries they sold across the nation and local food markets. She got involved with the Chicago chapter as a blog writer and is now a chapter leader, having taken on many roles over the years, including program manager for the chapter’s food book club. Katie officially added the title of “librarian” to her resume, graduating in May of 2019 with a MSLIS. So it is only fitting that those two worlds collide in establishing Slow Food Books! You can find out more about Katie on her website or instagram @katydid_katiejohnson.
Cedar Schimke

Cedar Schimke

Cedar is a chef, community gardener, farmer, writer, singer, artist. They devour books both fiction and nonfiction that help them imagine emergent worlds. Their favorite ingredients to cook with are chilies, and they love exploring recipes as a way to apprentice themselves to culture, tradition, and place. Cedar’s favorite genre of book is magical realism, especially when written by folks who use storytelling to offer alternatives to the current systems of hierarchy and dominance.


Margaret Woodruff

Margaret Woodruff

Margaret Woodruff first learned about Slow Food while researching local foods for library programs at her library in Vermont.  Since that time, she has been part of the Slow Food Vermont board and worked to fold Slow Food initiatives into libraries across the state, including Plant-a-Seed gardens at the Charlotte Library where she serves as director.  Books and food seem like such a natural combination!

To get involved in Slow Food Books as a curator or partner, contact books@slowfoodusa.org